After reading this diary I wrote to the senator asking for an explanation, describing that taking up GOP positions on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would not earn my vote and would not give her support in Missouri. I explained that for a Democratic senator to earn Democratic support, she must take a progressive stance on economic issues. If she tacks to the right on taxes there will be no reason for Democrats and independents (33% in Missouri) to choose her over Roy Blunt or whoever gets the GOP nomination. Her response follows:
June 11, 2012My immediate thought was that perhaps the indication of supporting the tax cuts for the wealthy was untrue and that this reply represents her position. I wrote back saying, "You obviously didn't read my question" and asked again if she intended to allow the Bush tax cuts to go on across the board or if she really is behind the Buffett Rule. I'm awaiting the next email.
Dear Mr. Hall,
Thank you for contacting me regarding tax reform. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As our nation faces huge deficits, it is clear that there are some policies we will not be able to afford any longer, like maintaining an unfair tax code.
Under current tax rules, many individuals who make more than $1 million annually pay a lower tax rate than middle class families. This is because our complicated tax code allows some individuals to take huge deductions while others are stuck with a higher tax bill.
That's why I support what has become known as the Buffett Rule. The Buffett Rule is the name that has been given to a simple principle: anyone who makes more than $1 million should pay at least as high a tax rate as a middle class family, and certainly not a lower tax rate, which is so frequently the case today. For most people, this is a matter of fairness and simple common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is a commodity that has all too often been in short supply in Washington.
In April, 2012, I voted for S. 2230, the Paying a Fair Share Act, which would have required that anyone who has annual income over $1 million pay at least a 30% overall tax rate. The bill would have reduced the deficit by $50 billion over the next 10 years. While a majority of Senators supported this proposal, the bill did not receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster of the legislation.
Of course, there are other ways to enact Buffett Rule principles into law. Congress could undertake an overhaul of the tax system that simplifies the code, reduces the number of deductions and loopholes, and brings down tax rates for everyone, while ensuring that multi-millionaires bear a greater share of the burden than working class families, who are struggling to make ends meet. I support such reform and hope Congress undertakes a tax reform effort in the near future.
Until we can pass comprehensive tax reform, Congress should pass commonsense measures like the Paying a Fair Share Act, which will make the tax code fairer and reduce the deficit in the process. It will not solve our deficit problems, but it is a step in the right direction.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.
United States Senator