March 29, 2012

Senate Schedules Vote on Whitehouse’s Buffett Rule Bill

Vote will Happen on Tax Day

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement today regarding the announcement by Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate will hold a vote on Whitehouse’s bill to implement the “Buffett Rule” on April 16:

“Getting a vote on the Buffett Rule is a step in the right direction.  It’s time to restore fairness to our tax system and end the loopholes that allow ultra-high income earners to pay a lower overall rate than middle income Rhode Islanders.  This will be a tough battle given the power of the special interests involved, but as tax day approaches it is an important debate to have, and I will fight hard to make sure we give a fair deal to the middle class.”

Whitehouse’s Paying a Fair Share Act would ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate.  It would apply only to taxpayers with income over $1 million – including capital gains and dividends.  Taxpayers earning over $2 million would be subject to a 30% minimum federal tax rate.  The tax would be phased in for incomes between $1 million and $2 million, with those taxpayers paying a portion of the extra tax required to get them to a 30% effective tax rate.   The bill also includes language to preserve the incentive for charitable giving.

In addition to restoring fairness to the tax code, the Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that the bill would generate $47 billion in new revenue over the next decade.  Other organizations have placed that estimate even higher, including Citizens for Tax Justice, which projected that the Buffett Rule would generate $171 billion over the same time period.  The bill is supported by the Obama Administration and Warren Buffett himself.


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