WASHINGTON — Lobbyists for a day, a band of millionaires stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge Congress to tax them more.
Along the way, the group calling themselves the Patriotic Millionaires dropped in on the ideological leader of anti-tax lawmakers, who had some advice for them, too.
"If you think the federal government can spend your money better than you can, then by all means" pay more in taxes than you owe, said Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that has gotten almost all congressional Republicans to pledge to vote against tax hikes. The IRS should have a little line on the form where people can donate money to the government, he suggested, "just like the tip line on a restaurant receipt."
Among the millionaires were Lawrence Benenson, vice president of Benenson Capitol Co.; Matthew Palevsky, a consultant and founder of the Council on Crime Prevention; Frank Jernigan, a former senior software engineer for Google; and Guy Saperstein, a retired lawyer and former president of the Sierra Club Foundation.
"Nobody's holding them back" from donating money to the federal government, he said as he prepared for the group's arrival. "They're saying, 'Gee, I'd sure like to write a big check to the federal government, if someone would just stop stopping me.' "