The U.S. Senate defeated a jobs bill in October 2011 that included a surcharge on taxpayers who earn more than $1 million in adjusted gross income.
According to a study by Citizens for Tax Justice, only one-tenth of one percent of Maine taxpayers would have been affected by the surcharge -- about 375 people. On the other hand, the legislation would have created 2 million new jobs nationally and cut taxes for virtually all Maine taxpayers.
The result was the same in April, when the chamber turned aside the so-called Buffett Rule, a tax plan proposed by President Barack Obama that would apply a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on individuals making more than a million dollars a year. The rule would implement a higher minimum tax rate for taxpayers in the highest income bracket, to ensure that they do not pay a lower percentage of income in taxes than less-affluent Americans. It would affect 0.3 percent of taxpayers.
Everyone knows we need to change the dynamic in Washington to protect the many against the privileges of the few, to unleash the middle class and create a broad-based economic recovery. But we can't keep sending millionaires and corporate-funded candidates to Congress over and over again and expect a different outcome. I support the Buffett Rule to bring the super-rich in line with average taxpayers.