Continetti is guest-blogging for The Post.
Today Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, ranking member on the Finance Committee, sent a letter to the coordinator of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. You can read the letter here. The millionaires want Congress and the president to raise their taxes. Hatch points out that raising taxes on the rich wouldn’t solve America’s fiscal problem, and that tax hikes aren’t cost-free. But his real purpose is to remind the patriotic millionaires that nothing prevents them from giving the U.S. Treasury as much money as they want:
While we may disagree on the need for tax increases, I appreciate the Millionaires’ philanthropic desire to share more of their wealth with the federal government, and I want to make sure that you are aware of opportunities to fulfill this noble aspiration. For those that are interested in making voluntary contributions to pay down the national debt, the process is both easy and advantageous. Federal law authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to accept conditional gifts to the United States for the purposes of reducing the public debt. Individuals can go to the website, pay.gov, where they are able to make a tax deductible charitable contribution to pay down the public debt.
Now, these ultra-rich progressives may be reluctant to hand their fortunes to the federal government because the donation is tax deductible. If that’s the case, I’m sure the Obama administration would be happy to modify this tax expenditure so that conditional gifts to the Treasury by liberal millionaires and billionaires are taxed just like regular income, capital gains, dividends and estates. That way everyone will be happy. Unless of course groups such as Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength are more interested in striking a self-righteous pose than in serious public policy.