The American Dream Is 'Rapidly Diminishing,' Walgreens Boss Says in Plea to Raise Taxes for the Wealthy Walgreens Boots Alliance's executive vice president, John Driscoll, penned a letter asking lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad to tax the wealthy.

By Jordan Hart

Key Takeaways

  • Walgreens exec John Driscoll asked global lawmakers to tax millionaires like himself more.
  • As it stands the American dream is in danger of extinction, Driscoll writes.
  • Driscoll joined over 250 billionaires and millionaires supporting the Proud to Pay More campaign.
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John Driscoll via Business Insider
As a beneficiary of the American dream, John Driscoll is asking lawmakers to do what they can to protect it.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

A business tycoon is taking an unexpected stance on taxes.

Walgreens Boots Alliance's executive vice president, John Driscoll, penned a letter asking lawmakers in the US and abroad to tax the wealthy. Driscoll echoed the pleas of entrepreneurs, an heiress, and activists in his demand to save the "rapidly diminishing American Dream."

As the grandchild of Irish immigrants, Driscoll labeled himself as a beneficiary of the American Dream — the concept that anyone in the US can achieve success and prosperity by working hard.

The exec signed an open letter from the Proud to Pay More campaign addressing the leaders gathered at Davos 2024, an annual meeting held in Switzerland that's attended by CEOs, government officials, business elites, and members of the media.

"In this spirit, I call on national and international lawmakers to do whatever it takes to tax wealthy people like me," Driscoll wrote.

But, taxing the mega-rich isn't an easy feat in the US. Many of Driscoll's wealthy peers don't share his views on taxation.

IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel told reporters in 2023 that budget cuts over the years made it hard to keep up with the "complicated methods the wealthiest tax taxpayers used to hide their income and evade their paying their fair share of taxes."

In its crackdown on those high earners, the IRS managed to get just $122 million in missing taxes from 100 millionaires as of October.

Last summer, billionaire Elon Musk — also known as the richest man in the world — responded to a post from President Joe Biden about the super-wealthy "paying their fair share" with his own analysis.

"I agree that we should make elaborate tax-avoidance schemes illegal, but acting upon that would upset a lot of donors, so we will see words, but no action," Musk wrote in June.

Two years prior, Musk spoke out against a tax plan that would've cost him about $10 billion annually.

Analysts have proposed taxes that they say would greatly benefit the general population. Researchers at the EU Tax Observatory said that a 2% tax on all of the world's billionaires would raise close to $250 billion per year.

Driscoll has also been an advocate for higher minimum wage. While he was CEO of home-health company CareCentrix, the company raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In his tax letter, Driscoll cited a report from the Economic Policy Institute that CEOs made 399 times as much as a typical employee in 2021.

"If our world leaders want to prevent millionaires and billionaires and their children from becoming the accidental aristocracy, they need to ensure that these taxes work as meaningful and effective checks on dynastic wealth," Driscoll wrote.

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