Ok, I was listening to yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show on my iPhone at work today, and her big guest was Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Schakowsky is one of the great liberals in government right now. I wanted to share her proposal for a new tax code. As a preface, wealthy Americans have received most of the wealth gains in the past 30 years. They have also benefited from lower tax rates, thanks to Reagan, that were unaffordable and account for most of the national debt. According to Schakowsky, "This isn’t about punishment or revenge. It’s about fairness. It’s about avoiding budget cuts that harm middle class families and those who aspire to it. We can choose to cut education, job creation and health care, or we can choose to ask those who can contribute more to do so.”
Schakowsky's proposal, the Fairness in Taxation Act, creates a new tier of tax brackets that distinguishes between the merely rich and obscenely wealthy. (The current top tax bracket makes no distinction after $373,000 income.) Here's what the tax brackets would look like under the Fairness in Taxation Act:
■$1-10 million: 45%
■$10-20 million: 46%
■$20-100 million: 47%
■$100 million to $1 billion: 48%
■$1 billion and over: 49%
The bill would also tax capital gains and dividend income as ordinary income for those taxpayers with income over $1 million. If enacted this year, the Fairness in Taxation Act would raise more than $78 billion.
Conservatives (oxymoron) are lying when they say that they can get deficits under control through budget cuts (and that they actually care). But polls also show that specific programs that they want to cut are popular with the public. Once it becomes clear that the budget cuts will trigger cuts to programs middle-class America loves, tax increases become very appealing. If Washington has the guts to get serious about raising taxes, it's apparent that higher rates on the rich -- beyond simply rolling back the Bush tax cuts -- are more way more popular than pick-pocketing middle class voters! Polls prove it to be true. Go figure! Will Democrats have the guts to do it? Not holding my breathe in liberal Massachusetts.
P.S. Obviously, I LOVE this proposal. Good work, Jan!