October 8, 2019

Whitehouse Calls for Passage of Buffett Rule After New Report Exposes Record Tax Inequality

Paying a Fair Share Act would ensure multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate

Washington, DC – After a new report published in The New York Times exposed that the top 400 earners paid a record low tax rate last year, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is calling on Congress to pass legislation that would prevent the wealthiest Americans from paying lower tax rates than middle-class families.  Whitehouse’s Paying a Fair Share Act, also known as the “Buffett Rule,” would ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective federal tax rate. 

“As Republicans have become increasingly beholden to wealthy interests, the passage of a steady stream of tax cuts and loopholes has radically eroded the tax system to the point where ultra-high earners now pay a lower rate than middle-class families,” said Whitehouse.  “The Buffett Rule would put a brake on the runaway inequality that the Trump administration has accelerated at every turn.” 

The Paying a Fair Share Act would apply only to taxpayers with income over $1 million, including capital gains and dividends, and would phase in over their second million dollars in income.  The bill includes language to preserve the incentive for charitable giving.  Directions on how taxes would be calculated are available here.

The Buffett Rule is named after Warren Buffett, the legendary investor who has famously lamented that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.  Whitehouse most recently reintroduced the legislation in June.




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