In an open letter addressed to 2020 presidential hopefuls on Monday, the group asked candidates from both sides of the aisle to support “a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes” of the richest one-tenth of the richest 1 percent of Americans.
“America has a moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more,” the letter, which was first published in The New York Times, read. “Those of us signing this letter enjoy uncommon fortunes, but each of us wants to live in an America that solves the biggest challenges of our common future.”
The revenue could be used to address climate change, improve health care, education and the U.S. economy, they said. It would also slow a growing concentration of wealth.
In addition to Soros and his son Alexander, Disney heiress Abigail Disney, Molly Munger (daughter of businessman Charlie Munger) and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes also signed the letter.
“It is not in our interest to advocate for this tax, if our interests are quite narrowly understood. But the wealth tax is in our interest as Americans,” they said.
The billionaires referenced an existing wealth tax proposal from Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a potential model. Warren’s wealth tax would apply to “ultra-millionaires,” or those with more than $50 million in assets. The tax would be equal to 2 percent, but would rise to 3 percent for those who have assets valued at more than $1 billion.
While a number of progressive lawmakers are targeting a tax hike on the wealthy, this isn’t the first time the country’s richest individuals have said they should be contributing more. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is notorious for saying that while he has paid more in taxes than most, he should be paying more. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has made similar comments.