Buffett Rule Vote Fails in the Senate

Washington, D.C. – Republicans blocked the Senate from passing the “Buffett Rule” tax increase on the super wealthy today in a partisan vote on the Senate floor.

Named after billionaire Warren Buffett who complained to politicians that he was taxed at a lower percentage of income than his secretary. The tax increase looked to charge all Americans making over $1 million dollars a year a 30% tax regardless of where the income came from. Republicans called the vote a gimmick and an attempt by President Obama to give more Americans a free ride.

It was blocked 51-45 in a filibuster vote. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas were the only politicians to cross party lines.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said after the vote,

“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.”

Republican Sen. Jon Kyl said in response,

“You’ve got the top 10 percent of taxpayers paying 70 percent of all the taxes, earning 45 percent of the income. Those are certainly the wealthy, and they’re certainly paying a big share. How about less wealthy? The bottom 95 percent — in other words, everybody but the top 5 percent — pays 41.3 percent of income taxes, earns 65 percent of the money, of the income. Is this fair? The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that 51 percent of all households, which includes both filers and nonfilers, had either zero or negative income tax liability in 2009. People who do not share in the sacrifice of paying taxes have little direct incentive to care whether the government is spending and taxing too much. Maybe that’s why the president has no problem with even more Americans getting a free ride.”

A CNN/ORC poll released Monday found that 72 percent of Americans favor taxing the very wealthy at 30 percent. With Mitt Romney running against President Obama, it is the chance for Democrats to use this issue to attack him for his mega wealth while he only paid 13.9% in taxes last year.