19 billionaires say 'tax us' — use revenue for public health

A group of some of America's richest individuals called on the 2020 presidential candidates to establish a wealth tax, according to The New York Times.

A letter to the candidates published June 24 calls for a tax "on the fortunes of the richest 1/10 of the richest 1% of Americans — on us." Eighteen people signed the letter, plus one anonymous individual. Signatories included Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, financier George Soros and filmmaking heir Abigail Disney.

The billionaires called on candidates to use the money to address the climate crisis, tackle economic issues like student debt and improve public health outcomes.

"The wealthiest Americans are now estimated to live up to 15 years longer than the poorest Americans and individuals living in disadvantaged communities are more likely to die before the age of 75, regardless of their income level," the letter reads.

The letter writers note one presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., already has a wealth tax proposal that would tax families with more than $50 million in assets. The proposal is estimated to affect 75,000 families and generate nearly $3 trillion in revenue over a decade.

"Those of us who have signed this letter believe it is our duty to step up and support a wealth tax that taxes us," the letter reads.

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