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American Billionaires Want To Be Taxed More, Citing 'Moral Responsibility'

A Facebook co-founder and a Disney heir are among a group of 19 wealthy Americans who want to pay more tax.

Why? To generate more than $3 trillion in tax revenue over the next decade.

A letter, addressed to "2020 Presidential Candidates" and published on Medium, claims that the U.S. has a "moral, ethical and economic responsibility to tax our wealth more".

"A wealth tax could help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes, fairly create opportunity, and strengthen our democratic freedoms," said the group.

George Soros, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, the owners of the Hyatt hotel chain and descendants of Walt Disney are all among the signatories.

Billionaire George Soros is among those who have signed the open letter Photo: Popow via Getty

While the group said they were non-partisan, and not endorsing a candidate, they did praise a proposal by Senator Elizabeth Warren to lift taxes on those earning over $50 million.

It's a measure that would affect the country's wealthiest 75,000 families and create billions of dollars in public revenue.

The group argues middle-income Americans already pay a wealth tax in the form of property taxes on their main form of wealth — their home.

“The next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans,” they said.

Abigail Disney is also among the signators. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty

While Warren was among the first to make a formal wealth tax proposal, other democratic hopefuls such as Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Beto O'Rourke have come out in support of a shake-up.

But it's not embraced by all.

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Some believe it would be difficult to assess the value of investments like art and jewels, others raise important questions about implementation and enforcement while some argue the tax would be unconstitutional -- the last has been strongly rejected by the signatories.

They claim that not only would it be constitutional, a wealth tax would also be a powerful tool for solving the climate crisis, growing the economy, improving public health and strengthening freedom.

"We’ll be fine -- taking on this tax is the least we can do to strengthen the country we love".