Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, sponsor the so-called Buffett Rule, sat down with the Center for American Progress to discuss his bill for a mandatory income tax rate of 30 percent for millionaires.
“Regular folks,” he said, think politics has become rigged to favor the richest Americans “and that’s a bad framework for people to be looking at this United States government from. Unfortunately in a lot of ways, it’s a very accurate framework, and the tax code is one of the ways to prove that is really the case right now.”
The substantial change to the tax code, he said, would be that capital gains would be taxed just like any other kind of income for those who make more than a million dollars in a year. So a CEO who gets paid in stock options, would still have to pay taxes on that if they earned more than a million.
He said the proposal could come up for a vote “in the three or four months on either side of the New Year” when Democrats will could be negotiating from a position of strength because of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Right now, he said, the bill isn’t likely to get substantial floor time, unless the American people demand it.
Prompted by a question at the very end of the discussion, Whitehouse, who it turns out was once considered a candidate for the Supreme Court, threw a jab at the Citizens United decision: “Corporations are not people. I think the decision claiming that they were will go down in history as one of most grievous errors of the Supreme Court.”
Interestingly, Ted Nesi reports this morning that National Journal recently ranked Whitehouse as the 19th most liberal senator after two consecutive years of being ranked as the most liberal.