More than 400 U.S. millionaires and billionaires reportedly plan to send a letter to Congress this week petitioning lawmakers not to cut their taxes.
Instead, they say they want taxes on the wealthy to be raised, the Washington Post reported.
The letter urges lawmakers not to pass any tax bill that "further exacerbates inequality" and adds to national debt, the Post said. Republicans are expected to debate legislation that would add $1.5 trillion to the debt to pay for widespread tax cuts for businesses and individuals, the Post reported.
The letter was compiled by Responsible Wealth, a group that advocates for progressive causes. Signers include Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, fashion designer Eileen Fisher, billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros and philanthropist Steven Rockefeller, as well as many individuals and couples who aren't household names but have at least $1 million in assets, the Post reported.
"I think a tax cut is absurd," said Robert "Bob" Crandall, a former American Airlines CEO who now lives in Florida and added his name to the letter. Republicans are "saying we can't afford to spend money, but we can afford to give rich people a huge tax break. This makes no sense," Crandall said.
The White House and congressional Republicans contend the bill is geared toward pumping more investment into the U.S. economy. They say the money that corporations and the rich save on their taxes would likely be used to start new companies or build new factories, the Post explained.
"I don't believe that we've set out to create a tax cut for the wealthy. If someone's getting a tax cut, I'm not upset that they're getting a tax cut," Gary Cohn, the head of Trump's National Economic Council, said in an interview with CNBC last week. "Everything in our tax system is meant to encourage investment."
To be sure, Americans are more likely to believe the wealthy will benefit most from the tax reform currently being pushed in the U.S. Congress by Republicans who insist their goal is to help the middle class, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released.
The poll found 32 percent of Americans think the wealthy will benefit most, compared to 14 percent who think all Americans will benefit and 14 percent who think large U.S. corporations will benefit most.
Congress is working to try to enact the most sweeping overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s that would lower taxes for millions of individual tax payers and slash the rate paid by corporations.
The proposal would also eliminate most individual tax deductions, a move that could result in some taxpayers seeing an increase in their total bill to the government while others see a decrease.
Despite an insistence by Republicans that their goal is help the middle class, only 8 percent of Americans think that demographic will benefit the most, the poll, which was conducted Nov. 3-8, found.
Republicans and Democrats are divided on who they think tax reform would help the most. Among Republicans, 26 percent think all Americans will benefit, followed by 16 percent who think the wealthy will benefit most, the poll found.
But among Democrats, 46 percent think that wealthy will benefit most, with only 7 percent thinking all Americans will benefit and 17 percent who think corporations will benefit.
And while those polled did not think that the middle class will benefit most, an overwhelming majority thought that they should.
The poll found 79 percent think its more important to cut taxes for the middle class than for corporations, and 76 percent think its more important to cut taxes for the poor than for corporations.
However, 76 percent said it was more important to cut taxes for corporations than it was to cut taxes for the wealthy.
When it comes to specific changes, the poll found that 46 percent of Americans oppose limiting the mortgage interest deduction, compared to 35 percent who support the change.
The strongest opposition came to the Republican proposal to eliminate deductions for medical expenses, with 54 percent saying they are against the change and 32 percent saying they support it.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted in early November online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,608 adults and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points.
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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