Republicans block tax fairness legislation
by Brian Washington/photo courtesy of Scrumshus
A minority of Republicans in the U.S. Senate apparently think it’s okay for teachers, bus drivers, and other middle class Americans to pay a higher tax rate than millionaires.
GOP lawmakers Monday evening blocked the Senate from moving forward on a bill backed by President Obama that would have leveled the playing field between the richest 1 percent and middle class families that are struggling to get by.
U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine was the lone Republican member to support moving the bill forward.
As President Obama outlined in Florida last week, the Paying a Fair Share Act — also called the Buffet Rule — would have restored fundamental tax fairness to a system many say is unfair to working families.
The legislation gets its nickname from billionaire Warren Buffet, who noted publically on several occasions that his tax rate was much lower than that of his secretary’s. The Buffet Rule would tax those who earn more than $1 million at a 30 percent rate, which is also the average rate a middle class family pays.
As many Americans rush to get their taxes in before the Tuesday, April 17, deadline, think about this. Nearly 25 percent of all millionaires pay a lower tax rate than middle income Americans. Meanwhile, the average tax rate paid by high-income earners has fallen to its lowest rate in more than 50 years.
Tax fairness has become an issue on the 2012 presidential campaign trail as well. Mitt Romney, who’s expected to be the GOP nominee, admitted recently that he and his wife paid a 13.9 percent tax rate in 2010. Romney is estimated to be worth $190 million to $250 million.
Romney has released his tax returns for 2010 and estimates for 2011. However, despite challenges from President Obama, Romney has failed to release past tax returns.
President Obama has released tax returns dating back to the year 2000.
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President Obama urges Senate to pass tax fairness bill, which would tax millionaires like Romney at same rate as middle income workers Read More