Bernie Marcus: Making Money Is a Patriotic Act

Bernie Marcus and John Catsimatidis write in the Wall Street Journal about how the so-called rich can best, and do, contribute to the American economy. Hint: It’s not necessarily by paying more taxes.

We believe in a well-funded government, and we understand it is our duty to pay our fair share of taxes. And we do. Some of our financially successful colleagues call themselves “patriotic millionaires” and wish to pay more taxes to the government. We tip our hats to them and hope they write big checks to the Treasury, which accepts voluntary donations.

Yet we oppose higher taxes on “the rich,” for two practical reasons. First, the evidence is clear that higher tax rates would hurt the global competitiveness of the American economy, and thus hurt all Americans. One of us lives in Florida, where there is no state income tax; the other in New York City, with the highest income taxes in the country. The Empire State is struggling compared with other states; the Sunshine State is booming.

More important, we know we can spend our dollars more wisely, and in ways that benefit our communities and our country, than politicians can.

The businesses we created have employed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Two of the firms we own we purchased in bankruptcy court, saving more than 5,000 jobs. Our companies have paid tens of billions of dollars in wages and contributed hundreds of billions to U.S. gross domestic product. They also made the tens of millions of Americans who use our products and services better off. The Home Depot lowered hardware prices across the country. Customers chose us because we offered what they wanted at a price they were willing to pay. That’s the win-win miracle of the free market.

 

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