Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today introduced in the House the Paying a Fair Share Act (H.R. 3903), also known as "the Buffett Rule," to help level the playing field between middle class taxpayers and millionaires and billionaires. Baldwin's legislation is a companion to one introduced in the Senate by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The Paying a Fair Share Act responds to President Obama's proposal in his State of the Union Address to ensure that middle class workers do not pay a higher tax rate than those earning more than $1 million a year.
"It is simply unfair to ask middle class Americans to pay a higher tax rate than millionaires and billionaires," said Baldwin. "The Paying a Fair Share Act will help restore people's faith that if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll have a chance to get ahead. For far too long, our tax code has unfairly benefited the wealthiest Americans, while middle class families have taken it on the chin. It's up to Congress to fix this obvious injustice. I call on all of my colleagues to join me in taking this first step to strengthen our middle class and rebuild our economy with a commitment to shared responsibility and shared sacrifice," Baldwin said.
The "Buffett Rule" is so-named because billionaire Warren Buffett has decried the fact that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he. In 2008, the top-earning 400 Americans, who made an average $270 million each, paid the same average effective tax rate as the typical Wisconsin construction worker, using the standard deduction and exemption.