Congressional Democrats will draw a sharp distinction between themselves and Republicans by pushing for a vote on the “Buffett Rule” — that millionaires should, at the very least, pay taxes at the same overall rate as middle class workers.
In a sign that Democrats on the Hill see this as both effective politics and a significant step toward erasing medium term deficits, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — tasked with helping the party more effectively message its policies — said members of Congress should have to go on the record on this issue.
“I’d find it very useful to make some proposal along the lines that fits within the confines of the Buffett rule and put it on the floor,” Schumer told reporters in a Monday conference call. “When the President goes around the country and keeps talking about it, as I believe he will do, we are going to win this fight.”Dems have been here before. Schumer pitched a new tax bracket for millionaires during the fight over the expiration of the Bush tax cuts last year. The administration rebuffed his efforts, as did a small handful of congressional Democrats and all Republicans. But the administration has in effect come around to Schumer’s basic insight — that drawing a line at $1 million is both clarifying politics and an effective way to raise revenue — and it’s thus likely to be the centerpiece of the Democrats’ arguments in the ongoing debates about jobs, the economy, and the budget.
Schumer has been comparatively less combative over Obama’s jobs plan and several members of the Senate Dem caucus have attacked that proposal harshly in the press. It remains to be seen how those same conservative members react to the Buffett rule proposal. And they’ll have plenty of time to weigh in between now and when the proposal is written, scored, and brought to the floor for a vote.
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