Venture capitalist Tom Perkins: Taxes will drive 1% to 'extinction'

Feb. 14, 2014 at 4:31 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Taxes are being used as a weapon against the wealthiest 1 percent in the United States, venture capitalist Tom Perkins said.

"I wouldn't say taxation is a form of persecution," Perkins said Thursday at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. "But the extreme progressivism of the tax system is."

Cited statistics about the tax contributions wealthy Americans make, Perkins said the wealthiest 1 percent is carrying the government, Fortune magazine reported.

"Government is a giant beast that has to be fed, and it's fed with taxes," said Perkins, co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. "And taxes will go up and up and up."

In a Jan. 24 letter published in the Wall Street Journal, Perkins compared discrimination against America's rich to Nazi Germany's treatment of the Jews, claiming the wealthy face a "rising tide of hatred" and compared it to Kristallnacht. He since has apologized and also spoke of the comparison Thursday.

"Kristallnacht should never have been used. The Holocaust is incomparable," Perkins said while maintaining that the wealthy are persecuted.

When asked by a participant about what the wealthiest fear, Perkins said the fear was higher taxes until the 1 percent no longer exists.

"It's an economic extinction," he said, "not a physical one."

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