Millionaires Afraid to Talk About Millionaires Surtax

| Fri Dec. 9, 2011 12:54 PM EST

NPR wanted to talk to some rich people about whether the "millionaire's surtax" would hurt the ability of small firms to hire more people. They had a tough time finding any:

We wanted to talk to business owners who would be affected. So, NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.

So we went to the business groups that have been lobbying against the surtax. Again, three days after putting in a request, none of them was able to find someone for us to talk to. A group called the Tax Relief Coalition said the problem was finding someone willing to talk about their personal taxes on national radio.

So next we put a query on Facebook. And several business owners who said they would be affected by the "millionaires surtax" responded.

[Three small-business owners responded. All said that higher personal taxes would have no effect on hiring decisions for their firms.]

"Those I would say were exceptions to the rule," responds Thune. "I think most small-business owners who are out there right now would argue that raising their taxes has the opposite effect that we would want to have in a down economy."

Which is worse? That neither Republicans nor business groups could find even a single person to back up their "job creators" nonsense? Or that the crack reporting staff at NPR couldn't figure out any way to contact millionaires except to ask Republicans and business groups? Don't they have any business reporters who might know a better way than Facebook to reach out to these folks?