The Disney heiress who's begging for a wealth tax says income inequality has created a 'superclass' in the US - and it's putting the American dream at risk

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  • Disney heiress and film director Abigail Disney said wealth inequality has made it impossible to achieve the American dream, like her great uncle Walt Disney did, in a June 24 interview on "CNN Tonight."
  • Disney is among a group of 19 ultra-wealthy Americans who signed a letter on June 24 asking presidential candidates to support a wealth tax.
  • The revenue generated by the wealth tax could be used to fund environmental initiatives, fuel economic investment, and fund health care, according to the letter, in addition to protecting America's democracy by reducing inequality.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The American dream has disappeared, according to one of its greatest beneficiaries.

Abigail Disney, the granddaughter The Walt Disney Company cofounder Roy Disney and heiress to the family's fortune, said on "CNN Tonight" that growing income inequality is one of the biggest problems in the country today.

"[Income inequality] is the game changer that we're living in right now," Disney told CNN's Don Lemon in the episode that aired June 24. "We're creating a superclass so far above the vast majority of people that they don't share the same planet anymore."

"That's not good for solidarity," Disney continued. "It's not good for the opportunity. We've eroded all the paths to the American dream that my grandfather and great uncle took."

Read more: Billionaires from George Soros to Abigail Disney are begging to be taxed more

Disney was one of a group of ultra-wealthy Americans - that also included George Soros and members of the Pritzker and Gund families - who signed an open letter to 2020 presidential candidates. The letter, published June 24, expressed the group's support for a moderate wealth tax on the 1%, which would generate revenue that could fund initiatives to slow climate change, fuel economic growth, and fund public health care. A wealth tax also has widespread public support, a survey conducted by The Hill found.

Disney previously spoke out about tax policy in 2017, appearing in a NowThis video to criticize the tax cuts for the wealthy included in the 2017 tax legislation.

Disney is a longtime critic of wealth inequality. Business Insider previously reported that Disney questioned the morality of the pay gap between The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and the company's average employee while testifying before the US House Committee on Financial Services in May 2019.

In March 2019, she also told The Cut that she would outlaw private jets if she could because they shield billionaires from discomfort.
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