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“Buffett Rule” Blocked In the US Senate

New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator voted last to advance legislation that would ensure millionaires and billionaires don’t pay a lower tax rate than middle class American families, but Republican Senators blocked action on the “Buffett Rule.” U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) says the GOP is protecting lucrative tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.

Frank Lautenberg
Jeff Fusco, Getty Images

“It is clearer than ever that Senate Republicans care less about fairness than they do about protecting lucrative tax breaks for the wealthiest few,” says Lautenberg said. “It’s simply not right that those making more than a million dollars a year can pay a lower tax rate than middle class families who are struggling to make ends meet. As Americans, we celebrate success, but we must also insist on fairness.”

Lautenberg co-sponsors the “Paying a Fair Share Act,” known as the “Buffett Rule,” a reference to billionaire Warren Buffet who supports a tax hike on the wealthy. The bill would ensure that no one making more than $1 million a year pays a lower tax rate than a middle class family. A 30% tax rate would begin to phase in at an income of $1 million and would fully phase in at an income of $2 million or more. The tax rate would apply regardless of whether the income came from investment or employment. The tax break for charitable giving would be preserved. It is estimated that the bill would reduce the deficit by up to $162 billion over the next 10 years.

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