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The 99% Owe “A Debt of Gratitude” to the 1%: Harry Binswanger

Daily Ticker

The 99% will not be happy with Harry Binswanger.

The former college professor and board member of the Ayn Rand Institute wrote an incendiary column this month in Forbes, arguing that “the community should give back to the wealth-creators” and the world should be indebted to the rich and powerful for “their enormous contributions to our standard of living.”

Related: Top 1% Getting 95% of Income Gains: Is Washington Responsible?

Binswanger sat down with The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task and Henry Blodget to defend his controversial views. He also reiterated his call that anyone who earns more than $1 million a year deserves an exemption from paying taxes, a “symbolic gesture” he notes, because the “great achievers” (individuals like Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs) “lifted us out of the cave and gave us our standard of living.” He also proposes that the highest earner of the year – maybe an investment banker, hedge fund manager or CEO – be given a Congressional Medal of Honor in return for his or her contribution to human life.

If millionaires do not pay taxes, do they still get the benefits of public assets, such as the military, firefighters, police officers, court of law and public schools? Watch the video above to see how Binswanger responds and check out who he ranks as the most influential person of all time: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein or Mother Teresa?

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