Monroe Eye on the Beltway: Mixed Reaction to 'Buffett Rule'

The congressmen give their views on raising taxes on rich; Rosa DeLauro talks about pay inequality for women.

As many people expected, the so-called “Buffett Rule” that would raise taxes on America’s wealthiest people failed in the U.S. Senate. 

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman was not present to vote, but said he would have voted against it and not because of the proposed hike in income tax.

“I am opposed to the Buffett Rule because it would double to 30 percent the capital gains tax on one group of investors and therefore reduce exactly the kind of capital investments we need to get our economy growing again and create jobs,” he said in a lengthy statement.

Voting in favor of the failed measure was Connecticut’s other senator, Richard Blumenthal.

“I will continue the fight for the Buffett Rule, because it is a crucial first step toward tax fairness and reform and fiscal responsibility. The federal government should not subsidize millionaires and billionaires,” Blumenthal said.

The House of Representatives could have chance to vote on the bill. Both Chris Murphy and Jim Himes both talked about it on Twitter.

Murphy said: The House must act on #BuffettRule - a critical first step to creating a fairer tax system that asks everybody to pay their fair share.”

Himes responded to a Tweet by Kevin McCarthy, the Republican whip in the House of Representatives. McCarthy said: “Dem Senator who introduced ‘Buffett Rule’ in Senate admits it won’t create jobs or lower gas prices”

Himes added, “Also won’t bring world peace.”

Pay Inequality?

DeLauro: U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro issued a press release saying that women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. She also talked about her proposed “Paycheck Fairness Act” that seeks to address the issue.

"The Paycheck Fairness Act would close longstanding loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and stiffen penalties for employers who discriminate based on gender,” she said. “Employers would be required to show that pay disparities among employees doing the same job are not sex-based. Employees would be protected against employer retaliation for sharing salary information with their co-workers to better expose inequity.”

An opinion piece in Forbes by Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum, said the stats about women making less don’t tell the whole story. She said the stats don’t compare people in similar industries and positions. Instead, the 77 cents per dollar earned statistic is just the median salaries of all fields combined for either gender. 

“Academics can debate why men and women make these different choices. The important takeaway, however, is that there are many reasons that men and women on average earn different amounts,” Lukas wrote. “It’s a mistake to assume that 'wage gap' statistics reflect on-the-job discrimination.”

Gerald M. Gaynor April 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Anyone with the ability to balance a checkbook understood that the Buffet Rule was political theater and not tax reform; when a struggling president offers up a "plan" to raise enough money to cover less than a day of his deficit creation even his most rabid supporters have to wonder why. Mr. Blumenthal continues his well-documented career of jumping on bandwagons and never riding one to the finish line. Perhaps we need to send him and many in Washington to grammar school where they can be taught that a nation, like a household, can't spend more than it earns. We have had quite enough sleight of hand from professional politicians who seek to divide the nation by race, religion and income.


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