Democratic leaders propose tax on millionaires


Senators Reid, Durbin, and Schumer discuss plans for advancing President Obama's bill, The American Jobs Act, through the Senate. (Image: Senate Democrats YouTube video)

Story by The Takeaway. Listen to audio above for full report.

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On Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders proposed a five percent surtax on Americans with incomes of $1 million or more per year. Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the surtax would raise nearly half of $1 trillion over the next decade, which is the amount necessary to cover President Obama's jobs bill.

A recent CBS news poll showed that 64 percent of Americans think that those who earn more than $1 million per year should pay more in taxes, which means the public may be on board for the new tax. Now, Democrats will need to gain Republican support for the measure.

Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent, says it was an easy solution for Democratic leaders. The surtax has gotten Democrat support in the Senate, and allows the president to better position his messaging.

"The president gets to go out around the country -- he's already started to do it -- and here's going to be the message, which technically will be true: If Republicans vote against this bill, they are voting against teachers, firefighters and construction workers getting to keep their jobs ... just to protect the incomes of millionaires and billionaires," said Zwillich.

Taxing millionaires isn't just playing to the Left says Zwillich, as it polls about 70 percent with Independents, and 57 percent with Republican voters, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll.


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