First on CNN: Democrats will seek smaller 'millionaire's tax'
October 17th, 2011
12:23 PM ET
3 years ago

First on CNN: Democrats will seek smaller 'millionaire's tax'

Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will announce Monday that Democrats will seek a .5% (point five percent) surtax on annual incomes over $1 million to pay for the first individual component of President Obama's broader jobs package, which was rejected in the Senate last week, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN.

That component of the larger jobs bill would provide $35 billion in aid to states to help preserve jobs for teachers and first responders, the White House and Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid's office said.

The administration and congressional Democrats hope the slimmed-down bill – aimed at helping teachers and firefighters – will be difficult for Republicans to oppose, especially as the economy sputters and voters seek solutions from Washington.

However, a top Senate Republican leadership aide immediately indicated Republicans – and some Democrats – probably would not be willing to go along with a tax increase to pay for the measure. All Republicans and two Democrats voted against the larger package last week, which included larger tax hikes on millionaires.

Reid will also announce he will try to pass the aid bill later this week, something that likely would need the cooperation of Senate Republicans because the Senate would have to set aside an appropriations bill that is currently pending on the floor.

The new surtax proposal is a fraction of the 5.6% percent surtax on incomes over $1 million that Democrats originally put forward to offset the cost of the president's broader jobs bill, which had a price tag of about $450 billion.

Reid and other Democratic senators are scheduled to hold a press conference call at 2:30 p.m. ET to unveil additional details of their bill.

Also see:

The president goes on the road to promote jobs

White House says aid to teachers will face first Senate vote

Senate Dems consider votes on parts of Obama package


Filed under: Harry Reid • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Brian

    .5% = 50%! Should be .05%.

    October 17, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    However, a top Senate Republican leadership aide immediately indicated Republicans – and some Democrats – probably would not be willing to go along with a tax increase to pay for the measure.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Bravo! This is the kind of bipartisan agreement Americans want to see. Tax and Spend is not the correct answer. In this case, NO is the correct answer.

    October 17, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. maf

    tsk tsk Brian, this is why we need more $$$ spent on education.

    Stop backing down Democrats!! This is a far cry from paying for the JOBS Bill with the Millionaire's Surtax.
    Force the GOP to say NO to everything and set the table for 2012!!!

    The GOP will be the ones who need to update their resumes!

    October 17, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Kyle

    More tax and spend. If these taxes would be guaranteed to go to deficit reduction only, I would be for it.

    October 17, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    That is some awesome math. A tax of roughly 5% can raise roughly half a trillion dollars? To raise that much money would require *10 trillion* dollars in income. Either someone is lying about the math, or people are lying about their income.

    That is a *LOT* of money. Think about all of those movie comedies where the main character has to spend "X" millions of dollars over the course of a week or month in order to reach some goal, where the character gets paid even more. A billion dollars can pay for a ride to the moon in a taxicab that charges *one dollar per foot*. The ten trillion dollars of income from above can pay the fair in that same taxi cab to ride at the speed of light for roughly 3 hours. (that's moving at 186,000 miles per second)

    October 17, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. John/kc

    Democrats are wasting their time until after the election. After the election, raise the proposed millionaire tax to double the amount originally proposed. The votes for it should be there at that time.

    October 17, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Alec H

    Brian

    Clearly your a product of the public school system. I am 100% in favour of more funding to help students like yourself.

    A for Effort.

    October 17, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. king

    here we go with the dems allowing the repugs to water down their plan again. i just want to see these people stand behind the president and the dems for once even if they are not intending to vote for them. you know what they still beleive in the trickle down policies of the repugs because the repugs are in bed with the corporation and the repugs owns the media. the constant batter ramming crap down the people's ears have gotten the american people walking around like corporate zambies selling out their own personal interest to china. then they wonder why didnt the president stop them from selling out their own interest. come on how many times must we go through this cycle.

    October 17, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. teacher

    Before the election is over, the middle class and lower class will be paying a 10% additional tax to help millionaires "earn" more money. The rich will need this additional money to keep increasing the number of jobs they have added under the Bush tax plan. Are there that many new Americans of working age that these patriotic rich have been lagging behind the unemployment figures or is this just another area where upper class thinks that all other Americans are stupid.

    October 17, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Alec H

    "Rudy NYC

    That is some awesome math. A tax of roughly 5% can raise roughly half a trillion dollars? To raise that much money would require *10 trillion* dollars in income. Either someone is lying about the math, or people are lying about their income."

    Rudy.....thats over 10 years.....please check the full facts before posting. So 50 billion a year would be 1 trill in income. Now take the fact that GDP is aprox 15tril a year, and the top 1% control 40% of the cash. You have your answer. Very easy to raise 50billion.

    I think its you who has bad math my friend.

    October 17, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Steve, New York City

    I believe that some of the class warfare stuff we've seen is dangerous.

    That being said, the TEA Party seems to miss the point that a majority of Americans do not think it's fair that the super-rich pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes (in cases where the super-rich earn most of their income from capital gains).

    I would be curious to see whether the so-called Wall St protestors become sophisticated enough, to demand answers from our government, as to why congress is so eager to fund foreign wars, and to send billions in American tax dollars to certain overseas countries, when there are so many unemployed at home?

    And AMAZING that no one has mentioned the constant, ridiculous increases in college tuition. Were there ever an economic "weapon of mass destruction" threatening this country, then that one is surely at the top of the list!

    October 17, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. ctmom

    It is so obvious that they just want to be able to say they taxed the rich to please the unwashed lefty base. 0.00005% is just around the corner.

    October 17, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Spending cut Vs Rich Tax , one year gone, 112th congress very productive ?
    Wonder why our GDP still at 2%

    October 17, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. kev

    This is a no brainer, that small percent on a millionaires is something tHey won't even miss, yet the gop wants me to pay more with food prices skyrocketing, gas prices, utilities and everything rising . Stop coddeling the rich wen their sittin on record profits.We gave them 10 years of tax breaks unpaid for and still have high unemployment, what was the purpose? These next 13 months is just political circus. Obama u shuda done this a long time ago not last minute.now with ur poll numbers the GOP aint passin nothing even if they have in the past. SAD

    October 17, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. swolfson929

    Tax....YES!!! Spend....YES!!!! Get things rolling out here for the country!!!!! Tax the rich...they need it. Spend on the old...they need it. The deficit would be fixed by taxing!!!! The rich can well afford to put more in the pot. If corps paid taxes the deficit would be paid in a few years. GOP won't let it happen. You guys believing their sound bites should start thinking for yourselves.

    October 17, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Gabe Kaplan

    This is simply the Union Full Employment (a.k.a. 100% Democratic Party Supporters) Act. How about tax credits for NEW hires? How about tax credits for re-training laid off workers? How about funding for new infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) without a requirement that it only fund 100% union contract projects? I don't mind a 1% surtax on incomes in excess of $1 million per year, as long as we spend the money on items such as I've listed above. If we spend it on more money such as Earned (what an oxymoron) Income Credits and benefits for Illegal Aliens then don't bother.

    October 17, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Once again they don't see the problem. Unless there are a lot more jobs, something this Pie-In-The-Sky plan does nothing for, there will be no revenue gains to speak of.

    October 17, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. scott

    This is really a no brainer the tax breaks for the more wealthy was a expiriment that failed in the Bush administration but washington will not let it go along with the NAFTA bill that is a real job killerpeople use your voice and vote these people out of congress vote down citizens united demand that congress have term limits get money out of washington so we can work on putting the right policies back in place the dems and repubs are both of what is why we are hurting so bad as a country right now not one or the other but both real and simple math not cut this or raise that just get rid of career politicians who bring in bad policy for the so called good of the people and we will be a better country for it.

    October 17, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Sean

    Obama or democrats better put their feet down on this issue If we take the voice from occupy-wall-street that has spread throughout the world seriously. I am a democrat and I am in the 30% tax bracket. I am not going to vote for Obama or democrat if they back down from this milestone legislation.
    American has been push around by these super rich people for the past two decades. Enough is enough.

    October 17, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Cassandra Chu

    How about larger fines for drug dealers? How about a medical tax on fat people? How about charging immigrants $1 million to become U.S. Citizens? why target the hardest working people in America?

    October 17, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    ctmom, you are right on target! This is just another Obama/ Reid political game. That's all they seem to do anymore.

    October 17, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Alec H wrote:
    That is some awesome math. A tax of roughly 5% can raise roughly half a trillion dollars? To raise that much money would require *10 trillion* dollars in income. Either someone is lying about the math, or people are lying about their income."

    Rudy.....thats over 10 years.....please check the full facts before posting. So 50 billion a year would be 1 trill in income. Now take the fact that GDP is aprox 15tril a year, and the top 1% control 40% of the cash. You have your answer. Very easy to raise 50billion.
    -------------
    Uh, excuse me and please pardon the interruption. One trillion dollars over 10 years is 10 trillion dollars. My math is fine. Please read the posts before you reply. I made no mention of years, you did.

    October 17, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    I'm a democrat and maybe not the smartest guy around but even I can see see this is just another bit of wasted politics by trying to get the GOP on record for not even chipping in .5% to help out the country. Were hurting out here and we need Washington to stop playing games and get people back to work.

    October 17, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    Lots of luck with that.

    Tax that 45% that aren't paying taxes.......and you will a lot farther.

    October 17, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "More tax and spend"

    That's a million times better than "cut taxes and spend anyway," which is the budgetary policy the GOP enacted for the past decade in order to screw up the deficits and ramp up the national debt so they could use both as an excuse for demanding the obliteration of the New Deal and Great Society programs that created the middle-class.

    October 17, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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