Libbey Goldberg (no relation) wrote the piece below as an op-ed for Wealth for the Common Good, to help influence current public debates about taxes. I think it’s a great example of how we can use our stories about wealth and privilege as a part of larger campaigns.
May we all thrive
by Libbey Goldberg
If all of us are to thrive in the United States, we need accountability and support from our public systems of education, health, and transportation —the very systems that we invest our hard-earned tax dollars in.
Unfortunately, the 2001 Bush-era tax cuts gave $700 billion in breaks over eight years to those with annual incomes more than $250,000. The government borrowed money to make these tax cuts possible.
These cuts are due to expire at the end of 2010, but Congress is considering a proposal that would extend them. I come from a family that will pay more if the cuts expire, and I’m urging our lawmakers and President Obama to allow let this happen. We can’t allow these irresponsible tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans continue.
If restored, these taxes could bring in an estimated $45 billion in annual revenue. That is money that could be far better spent on investments in our schools, infrastructure, research institutions and social services.
The story that I was told about how my family accumulated its wealth is a common one: “My grandfather grew up poor, the son of produce peddlers, Jewish refugees from Poland. He made his own fortune through sheer will, hard-work, shrewd business sense and intelligence.” (more…)