Tags: Tom Perkins | taxation | rich | investor

Investor Tom Perkins: Govt Seeks 'Economic Extinction' of the Wealthy

By    |   Friday, 14 February 2014 11:46 PM

Taxes are being used as a weapon against the nation’s wealthiest 1 percent, and could force their “economic extinction,” according to outspoken venture capitalist Tom Perkins.

Perkins, who recently made plenty of ugly headlines by comparing discrimination against the rich to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews, is a retired co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the most prominent VC firms of all time.

"I wouldn't say taxation is a form of persecution. But the extreme progressivism of the tax system is,” he told Fortune. "Government is a giant beast that has to be fed, and it's fed with taxes."

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Perkins said a crisis in the American taxation system could be blamed on the government’s failure in social, fiscal, and monetary policy. That failure has meant the government spends too much money on entitlement programs, he concluded.

"We're on a knife edge with this incredible debt that can't be paid back," Perkins said.

Fortune said that in remarks in a forum at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club this week, Perkins jokingly made a couple of fresh controversial remarks on how he might change the world.

"The Tom Perkins system is: you don't get the vote if you don't pay a dollar in taxes. But what I really think is it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars, you get a million votes. How's that?"

Fortune said Perkins later clarified offstage that what he meant was, with 50 percent of registered U.S. voters not paying taxes, "we got ourselves into a mess."

NBC News reported a new poll by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group finds that fewer members of the elite 1 percent now want to be seen as such.

One-third of members of those surveyed said they "like it when others recognize me as wealthy," down from 40 percent a year earlier, and much lower than the 53 percent who agreed with the statement in 2010.

NBC said a considerable number said they fret about "being scorned for being in the top part of the economy."

And 38 percent of respondents in the survey admitted they "feel guilty purchasing luxury goods and services,” NBC News said.

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Tom Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist who compared the plight of the wealthiest Americans to Jews in Nazi Germany, offered up a provocative new idea on what the rich deserve: more votes in public elections for every dollar they pay in taxes.
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Friday, 14 February 2014 11:46 PM
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