Buffett Rule Vote Poses Simple Question to Senators: Have You Any Sense Of Decency?

Washington, DC – The Campaign for America’s Future’s co-director Robert Borosage said that the Senate vote on the Buffett Rule will show which Senators have any sense of decency left; and will let Americans see if Senators are for billionaire investors or for middle class Americans. If enacted, the Buffett rule, which is scheduled for a vote in the Senate today, would insure that millionaires and billionaires don’t pay a lower tax rate than their chauffeurs.

Statement from Robert L. Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future:

“The Buffett Rule, if enacted, would mean that Wall Street CEOs and big oil executives would not pay lower taxes than their secretaries and chauffeurs. This is a no brainer. The Senators who oppose this minimal standard have shred all sense of decency. Only the corrupt or the morally bankrupt could vote to protect the ability of the richest Americans to pay a lower rate of taxes than the rest of us.

“It is hard to say it better than Ronald Reagan did when he described a tax code that allows millionaires and billionaires to pay lower taxes than bus drivers as `crazy.’

“Many millionaires and billionaires — approximately 55,000 — are paying lower taxes than millions of middle-class Americans. In 2009, 1,500 millionaires managed to pay no federal income taxes whatsoever.

“The incomes of the richest 1 percent have nearly quadrupled in just one generation, leaving middle-class incomes far behind. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the richest of the richest few — the wealthiest 0.1 percent– is at nearly the lowest rate in more than 50 years.

“Thousands of activists signed a petition organized by the Campaign for America’s Future asking their Senators to support the Buffett Rule. A vast majority of Americans agree that middle-class families shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes than millionaires. The Buffet rule is a minimal step towards a more progressive and just tax system.

“Americans are deeply skeptical already about Washington. They are fed up with a complicated tax code rigged to favor the wealthiest few. But many still assume legislators have some sense of decency. The vote on the Buffett rule will reveal just how many do.”