This week, a minority of the U.S. Senate blocked consideration of the “Paying a Fair Share Act," also known as the “Buffett Rule” that would impose a minimum tax rate on those making more than $1 million per year.
Nearly three-quarters, 72 percent, of Americans say they support the legislation, according to recent polling.
“The underlying issue here is one of fairness in the tax system,” said Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who sponsored the legislation. “It is a little bit ridiculous that we have people making these enormous incomes paying lower tax rates than folks who are solidly in the middle class and working hard to get by.”
“When the votes were tallied, 45 Senators chose to allow millionaires to dodge paying their fair share in taxes and 51 chose to side with the rest of us - the 99 percent,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. “We cannot allow millionaires to avoid paying their fair share while telling our seniors to live on less, ignoring our dilapidated infrastructure and closing down schools.”
The current tax code perpetuates income inequality. The rich are capturing far more than their share of income. During 2010, the first year of the economic recovery, 93 percent of the income gains went to the top 1 percent. Income was stagnant for everyone else - the 99 percent. The tax code makes this income inequality even worse because many 1 percenters pay a lower tax rate than working families.
This is not about class warfare, but about fundamental American values. Americans cannot allow our government to let millionaires avoid paying their fair share, while telling our seniors to live on less, ignoring dilapidated infrastructure and closing down schools.