On Monday, the Star Tribune published Growth & Justice board member Lee Lynch’s op-ed titled “Please raise my taxes; I can afford it.” Lee details his successes as an entrepreneur and underlines his support for President Biden and Governor’s Walz’s proposals of increasing taxes on the wealthy. Tax increases must be coupled with efforts to “undo decades of policies that have shifted money and power to those at the very top, creating obscene dynastic wealth and threatening our democracy,” he says. Lee discusses how 40% of household wealth comes from inheritance and highlights how little the wealthiest in this country give back. He also proposes changing the capital gains tax rate and thwarting “egregious tax loopholes” that allow the ultra-wealthy to avoid paying their federal taxes. He points out that the original creation of the federal income tax did not result in economic collapse like the wealthy worried. The more pressing issue is worsening inequalities.
Lee writes, “Those of us only near the top must contribute more too. Not to be punished or to achieve greater equality through tax policy alone, but to invest in the productivity that occurs when we improve the health, education and economic security of our workforce and all our people.”
In addition to sharing and supporting Lee’s letter above, G & J recently signed on to “Together We Rise Minnesota” (TWRMn), a public policy campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Budget Project and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. The campaign demonstrates the broad range of Minnesota organizations across sectors that “support the approach of asking those who can to contribute more to build a stronger recovery for all of us.” An excerpt from one of the letters heading to the House & Senate tax committees sounds a lot like why Growth & Justice was created nearly 20 years ago: “We ask you to follow the Governor’s lead and prioritize revenue-raising options that focus on those with the most resources, and that make the tax system more fair, equitable, and just. ” If you have questions, or would like for your organization to sign on to the campaign as well, contact Meghan Marriott, Minnesota Budget Project Engagement Manager at email@example.com
With the start of the 2021 Minnesota legislative session, we are launching a new E-News section (and webpage) tracking bills that relate to issues and recommendations covered in the Minnesota Equity Blueprint. Policy & Community Outreach Intern Michelle Armstrong-Spielberg, who assisted in the original research for the Blueprint, will be watching the legislative journeys, highlighting updates here in E-News and posting them in a new section of the G & J website. As a disclaimer, Growth & Justice is not necessarily supporting every bill on the list but is monitoring those that intersect with Equity Blueprint research and recommendations. Watch this space next week for links!
“These perilous times make me more concerned than ever about growing inequality and racial injustice in Minnesota, and the need for the most privileged among us to pay back a greater share into the common pot for the common good." — Lee Lynch, “Please raise my taxes; I can afford it.”