“GOP Tax Jihad Continues”: The Enemy Within Shoots Down The Buffett Rule
To nobody’s surprise, the Senate has blocked the Buffett Rule that would have required those earning more than $1 million a year to pay a minimum tax of 30 percent.
The 51-46 vote—short of the 60 votes in support needed to bring the measure to the floor—went along party lines with only GOP Senator Susan Collins crossing the aisle to vote with the Democrats while Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas sided with the Republicans.
While passage of the measure is estimated to bring in only $47 billion in additional revenue, the proposed law, which has been actively pushed by the Obama Administration, is viewed by supporters as fairness issue while opponents claim that the rich already pay a disproportionate share of the nation’s tax revenue.
Failure of the bill to advance is also likely to give the President a popular issue for his re-election campaign, given the strong support for the law among the general public. According to a CNN/ORC poll out today, 72 percent of the nation’s registered voters support the measure.
Expressing disappointment with the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said,
The wealthiest one percent takes home the highest share of the nation’s income since the early ’20s, the roaring ’20s. Times are tough for many middle class American families. Millionaires and billionaires aren’t sharing the pain or the sacrifice, not one bit. Last year there were 7,000 millionaires who didn’t pay a single penny in federal income taxes.
But Republicans aren’t buying it, arguing that the proposal is nothing more than a ‘political gimmick’—or so says GOP Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell:
The problem is, we’ve got a president who seems more interested in pitting people against each other than he is in actually doing what it takes to face these challenges head on. By wasting so much time on this political gimmick that even Democrats admit won’t solve our larger problems, it’s shown the president is more interested in misleading people than he is in leading.
Last week, ThinkProgress posted a video of President Ronald Reagan giving a speech indicating that he too objected to the notion of a secretary paying a higher rate of tax than her employer, the circumstance that gave rise to Warren Buffett’s proposal that resulted in his name going on this piece of legislation.
By: Rick Ungar, Contributor, The Policy Page, Forbes, April 16, 2012
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