Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has proposed a 5 percent tax increase on millionaires to pay for President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill, arguing that even the tea party supports his idea.
“We’re going to propose to pay for this important jobs legislation by asking people who make more than a million dollars a year to pay 5 percent more to fund job creation to ensure this country’s economic success,” Reid said at the Capitol on Wednesday. “Independents, Democrats and Republicans and even the tea party agree it’s time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes.”
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When announcing the proposal with Reid at the press conference, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said the 5% surtax would affect earned yearly income above $1 million. The problem, Reid said, is that none of his Senate Republican colleagues support tax increases on millionaires.
“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. Their constituents — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — and as I’ve already said, even the tea party believe that taxes should be assessed on a fair basis,” Reid said.
President Obama originally proposed tax increases on individuals making over $200,000 per year and families making over $250,000 annually to help fund his jobs plan. Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said those income levels are not considered wealthy in every part of the county.
“Drawing the line at a million dollars is the right thing to do. In the eyes of many, it is hard to ask more of households that make $250,000 or $300,000 a year. Many of them are not rich and in large parts of the country. That kind of income does not get you a big home or lots of vacations or anything else that’s associated with wealth in America,” he said.
“It also would affect too many small businesses if you drew the line below a million dollars. There are businesses, small businesses that struggle so we believe the million dollars is the right line.”