Entries in Millionaires (3)


GOP Opposing Surtax on Millionaires, Say Dem Alternative Targets Small Businesses

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday urged Democrats to come to terms with Republicans on a year-long extension to the payroll tax cut, as negotiations between conferees struggle to yield any concrete progress on a path towards a deal.

At his weekly news conference, the speaker once again suggested that Democrats should give up on a proposed tax hike on millionaires to pay for the extensions, which Democrats have persistently called for to cover the cost of the extensions. Republicans say the crosshairs of the surtax would fall squarely on the backs of small businesses -- traditionally the country's biggest employers.

“They refuse to allow any alternatives at all except for a job-killing small business tax hike that they know can’t pass the Senate, much less pass the House,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “If the president wants to get this done, I think he needs to let [Senate Finance] Chairman [Max] Baucus and the Democrat conferees do their work. Right now the only ones blocking an agreement are Senate Democrats and the president. It’s time for them to act.”

Boehner isn't alone in his opposition to the so-called "millionaire's tax." Four separate votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate on various proposals to raise taxes on millionaires failed to gain adequate support late last year.

President Obama has said that passing a year-long extension of the payroll tax hike is his highest legislative priority this year. Congress has until Feb. 29 before the current two-month stop gap measure agreed to last December expires.

The speaker also frowned at a proposal that Congress use savings from winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to offset the cost of the so-called ‘doc fix’ for physicians providing Medicare services.

“It needs to pass the ‘straight face test,’” Boehner said. “The fact is that we are going to spend less in our war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, [but] to use those…savings to propel more spending doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense to me.”

The speaker did his best to express a sense of urgency for the conference committee to strike a deal, but he would not reveal how much more delay would inspire the congressional leadership to take the lead on negotiations.

After passing the STOCK Act today by a bipartisan vote of 417-2, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the bipartisan tally is proof that, “we've got some work to do to restore the bond of trust with the public.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Democrats Revise Obama Jobs Bill: New Tax On Millionaires 

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Hoping to win over Democratic support for the president’s jobs bill, Senator Reid announced Wednesday he’s tweaking the $447 billion jobs plan by substituting some of Obama’s provisions for a tax increase on the “richest of the rich,” those earning $1 million a year or higher. 

“The American people believe it is time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share to help this country thrive,” Majority Leader Reid, D-NV., said on the Senate floor Wednesday  morning. “So when Democrats bring this common sense job legislation to the floor, we'll ask Americans who make more than $1 million a year to contribute more to help this country reduce its jobs deficit.”

The move would throw out the pay-for provisions that were listed in the White House-written American Jobs Act and replace it with a 5% tax increase on millionaires. The 5% surtax on a millionaires' earned income rate would not be permanent, lasting for the next ten years and would completely fund the $447 billion jobs bill, Reid said today. 

Obama had proposed higher taxes on family incomes over $250,000 and on the oil and gas industry as a way to pay for the bill. Some Democrats, like Senator Schumer, D-NY., faced a constituent base that would have been hit hard by the higher tax rates, so the increase to a surcharge on millionaires will likely win over Democratic votes.

The Democratic leadership believes they have an “overwhelming majority” of Democrats for this bill now, although confess there has not been a proper whip count yet, with the new proposal.

Democrats said they have consulted with the White House over the change to the president’s original proposal and they are “fine with the idea,” because the president was always open for alternative ways of paying for the bill.

Republicans will surely stand in opposition to this tax increase. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., said that Senate Democrats have decided to make the changes to the bill in order to “sharpen” their “political edge.”

Reid today was asked why he would propose this when he knows he will not have Republican support for the bill, nor would it go anywhere in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

“Seventy-five percent of Republicans support this tax.  The problem is, none of them are in the Senate.  So they're going to have to listen to their constituents,” Reid said, “the Republicans have to make a decision.  They can -- they can hang on to their mantra:  no new taxes.  But I would suggest that they're really not keeping in touch with their constituents.”

The Democrats are setting up a contrast -- hoping to cast a Republican vote against this as a vote to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% of America instead of aiding in the economic recovery.

Majority Leader Reid says that he’d like to set up a first vote on this “very soon,” likely within the next few days after finishing the China currency bill.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Republicans Blast Obama’s ‘Buffett Rule’

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has yet to release details of the so-called “Buffett Rule” he plans to introduce Monday, but Republicans already say they aren’t buying it, calling it “class warfare.”

Obama will try to make billionaire Warren Buffett’s name part of the United States tax law.  The White House confirms to ABC News that as part of a speech on long-term deficit reduction, the president will propose a “millionaire’s tax.”

“The Buffett Rule” would require any American making more than a million dollars a year to pay at least the middle class tax rate.  Buffett, one of the richest men in the world who is known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” has for years declared that the rich need to pay more in taxes.

“I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes,”  he told ABC News in November 2010.  Recently, Buffett wrote in an opinion piece that the country “should stop coddling billionaires.”

The president has been seizing on that position to bolster his argument that the rich need to pay more.

“Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary -- an outrage he has asked us to fix,” the president told a joint session of Congress earlier this month when he revealed his American Jobs Act.

Here is how the president’s plan might work using Buffett as an example:  A few years ago, Buffett said his secretary made $60,000 and paid 29 percent in taxes.  The billionaire made $46 million but only paid 17 percent in taxes, about $8 million.  Under the millionaire tax, if Buffett paid that middle class rate of 29 percent, he would owe another $5.5 million in taxes.

Republicans rejected and mocked Buffet’s argument.

“If he’s feeling guilty about it I think he should send in a check … But we don’t want to stagnate this economy by raising taxes,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“The Buffet Rule” will be just part of long-term deficit reduction and tax reform plan the president will propose in a speech Monday, the White House said.  Obama has long contended that the rich need to contribute more.  It is a populist plan and polls have found it has general support among Americans.

Republicans, however, call it divisive.

“Class warfare will simply divide this country more.  It will attack job creators, divide people and it doesn’t grow the economy,” Rep. Paul Ryan said on FOX News Sunday.  “Class warfare may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio