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Woodbury-Middlebury 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.”

Sean M April 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM
There are numerous problems with this. 1. Capital gains are income from investments from after tax dollars. In other words, people already paid income taxes on the money they invested. 2. Investing requires substantial risk at times and must be rewarded appropriately. There should not be any taxes on investment period. Anyone with any amount of capital for investment understands this. The problem is we elect people who have never built any private sector wealth and only spend their time envying others. 3. The Buffet Rule would only raise a few billion. See the link to the Wall Street Journal article. We are $1.5T in the hole. A few billion will not stop the bleeding. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303815404577336010655038338.html This is really about Obama agitating the base because he will need it. It is a continuation of the War on Women, started by George Stefanopolous of ABC, a former high level Clinton Admin operative. The fairness is greedy losers in America stop demanding the fruits of the labors of others. Almost half of the country does not pay federal income tax. The top 1% pay approx 33% of the income tax. The ones with capital are sitting on the sidelines. I have money to invest and refuse to. I do not trust Wall Street. They have bought off both parties. The tax system needs stability and we do not have it. We have not had a federal budget since Obama has become president.
Sean M April 18, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Blumenthal does not know what he is talking about when he said "The federal government should not subsidize millionaires and billionaires." The subsidizing is to poor people who do not pay income taxes. You cannot subsidize someone when you take more than you give them. As for Rosa Deluaro, the government is not responsible for dictating the outcome of a paycheck. America is about equal opportunity not equal outcome. If, and I say if, a woman gets less than a man for the same work, she can ask for more or quit. The owners of the business are the owners of the company, not the employees. Women can go start a business and build a customer base just as a man can. If I am shopping for insurance, I will buy what is best for me. I do not care what the gender of the person is. The federal government has no authority to set prices. If we can do what Delauro proposes, why then not mandate one price for cars. Two people do not necessarily pay the same price for the same car. They negotiate and utilize the competitive marketplace. Liberalism is finely represented here. It envies success and demands a piece of it for no contribution. Chris Murphy sends out mailers talking about greedy oil companies, when government makes more off a gallon of gas than oil companies do. It is really about creating and perpetuating victimhood for liberals. Women are discriminated against, so turn to government. Blacks and Hispanics are victimized, so turn to government.
Sean M April 18, 2012 at 03:13 PM
The irony of all this is it is Democrats who keep poor minorities in bad situations. Every conservative I know supports school choice. Democrats consistently block it. The conservative solution to these Democrats is simple: 1. Create a flat tax replacing the current income tax system. No deductions. Everyone pays the same rate. 2. Turn government to protecting the integrity of the system instead of creating outcomes. If a company is sexist and intentionally pays women less, the skilled ones will leave and businessmen like me will hire them in a second at a fair rate. Or they can go out and start their own business. 3. By doing #1, it effectively crushes the lobbying industry because politicians, of both political parties, would not have the incentive to be bought off for special breaks.

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