FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2012
Today's Vote on the Buffett Rule Matters to Low-income Families
Following is a statement by Alan W. Houseman, executive director of CLASP, regarding the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (S.2230), a bill introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to implement the Buffett Rule. Named for Warren Buffett, who highlighted the fact that he pays less in taxes than his secretary, this legislation seeks to make changes to the current tax system by setting a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for those with incomes above $1 million annually.
"Working families need lawmakers to think about the economic opportunity of all Americans as they vote on this legislation today. The Buffett Rule is not just about making the tax code fairer, but provides an important opportunity to raise desperately needed revenue for programs that create economic opportunity for hard-working ordinary Americans.
"Many lawmakers have paid lip-service to the principle that deficit reduction should not come at the sole expense of working families. Yet, many programs serving low- and middle-income families and children are on the chopping block. These proposed funding cuts, like to Pell Grants, child care subsidies and workforce programs, are short-sighted and will cost families, communities and the economy greatly in the long-run.
"The country has tough choices to make. The Buffett Rule is a significant step in helping build a fairer tax code that works for everyone. It's also a critical step in ensuring the government's ability to provide programs that improve the well-being of families and communities. As policymakers work toward deficit reduction, they must seriously consider revenue options that can fund programs to expand economic opportunity and help families make it in this economy."