WHO Specifically Blocked Millionaire Surtax

Dave Johnson

The public overwhelmingly wants taxes on the 1% increased to help pay for things that help the 99% and our economy. But the Senate was prevented from even voting on this.

This was a filibuster. A minority that represents the 1% was able to block something demanded by the 99%. It wasn’t “rejected by the Senate.” It wasn’t “The Senate.” It wasn’t “both sides.” Specific senators voted to block the Senate from even voting on a millionaire surtax. Here are their names.

The Bill

TheMiddleClass.org “provides information and analysis on bills in Congress that have a significant impact (positive or negative) on America’s middle class, as well as on the aspirations of low-income Americans who want to work their way into the middle class. It also enables voters to evaluate members of Congress based on their votes on these bills.”

According to TheMiddleClass.org, the specific bill, (S. 1917) Payroll Tax Relief for Middle-Class Families and Businesses, would have extended the “payroll tax cut” for a year. This bill would have extended the existing reduction in Social Security taxes for another year, and “urther cut the payroll tax rate workers pay from 4.2 percent (a 2 percentage-point reduction from the 2010 rate of 6.2 percent) to 3.1 percent. The employer share of the payroll tax would be cut in half, from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent. The tax would be waived entirely on the first $12.5 million in payroll for newly hired workers — in the hopes of creating an incentive to spur hiring.” The money would not come out of Social Security, though. Instead it would be covered by a “3.25 percent surtax on individuals earning more than $1 million a year that would take effect in 2013.”

The Vote

TheMiddleClass.org’s record of the vote on (S. 1917) Payroll Tax Relief for Middle-Class Families and Businesses tells you who voted to filibuster the surtax on millionaires.

WHICH Senators voted to block a vote? Here are their names:

Alexander, Lamar (R-TN)
Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH)
Barrasso, John (R-WY)
Blunt, Roy (R-MO)
Boozman, John (R-AR)
Brown, Scott (R-MA)
Burr, Richard (R-NC)
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA)
Coats, Daniel (R-IN)
Coburn, Thomas (R-OK)
Cochran, Thad (R-MS)
Corker, Bob (R-TN)
Cornyn, John (R-TX)
Crapo, Michael (R-ID)
DeMint, Jim (R-SC)
Enzi, Michael (R-WY)
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA)
Hatch, Orrin (R-UT)
Heller, Dean (R-NV)
Hoeven, John (R-ND)
Hutchison, Kay (R-TX)
Inhofe, James (R-OK)
Isakson, John (R-GA)
Johanns, Mike (R-NE)
Johnson, Ron (R-WI)
Kirk, Mark (R-IL)
Kyl, Jon (R-AZ)
Lee, Mike (R-UT)
Lugar, Richard (R-IN)
Manchin, Joe (D-WV)
McCain, John (R-AZ)
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)
Moran, Jerry (R-KS)
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK)
Paul, Rand (R-KY)
Portman, Robert (R-OH)
Risch, James (R-ID)
Roberts, Pat (R-KS)
Rubio, Marco (R-FL)
Sanders, Bernard (I-VT)
Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)
Shelby, Richard (R-AL)
Snowe, Olympia (R-ME)
Tester, Jon (D-MT)
Thune, John (R-SD)
Toomey, Patrick (R-PA)
Vitter, David (R-LA)
Wicker, Roger (R-MS)

THESE are the Senators who blocked a vote on a millionaire’s surtax. THESE are the individuals who are responsible for new proposals to cut the things government does for the 99%, instead of taxing the rich.

(These same members voted a second time against a modified version of the bill, even though that bill would have been less costly to taxpayers, included suggestions from Republicans for offsetting some of the costs and would have levied a significantly lower surcharge on millionaires, 1.9 percent rather than 3.5 percent.)

Sen. Sanders’ Vote

So why is Senator Sanders on this list? He has actually proposed increasing taxes on the 1%. But he feels that the payroll tax cut is too risky for the Social Security system, so he joined with those opposing the tax increase to block this from passing. Cutting the payroll tax is not the best way to “stimulate the economy” but it was the only remaining path left that hadn’t been blocked by Republicans who hope to keep the economy in bad shape, to get votes in next year’s election.

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