Today, during an interview on Fox News, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said that while he has at times “voted to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans,” he currently agrees with the tax plan of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and opposes higher tax rates for the wealthy.
He explained that by proposing a more progressive tax system, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is “misreading” the situation of middle-class workers like “Joe the Plumber.” Lieberman claimed that, with the two presidential tax plans, “the American story” is “on the line.” Watch it:
However, it is Lieberman who is “misreading” this entire situation. First, as Lieberman concedes, Joe the Plumber is “not a rich guy,” and thus would receive a larger tax cut under Obama’s tax plan than under McCain’s.
And since Lieberman is so concerned with Americans who are “trying to make [their] way up” and “want to be rich,” it is worth pointing out that income inequality threatens economic mobility. America’s income concentration is at its highest level since 1928, and “36 percent of children born to parents in the bottom wealth quintile remain in the bottom as adults.” Meanwhile, just “7 percent of children born to parents in the bottom wealth quintile make it to the top quintile in adulthood.”
The American public actually “rejects the conservative approach to taxes” and favors a more progressive system:
Data from the latest Pew Research poll shows that only 25 percent of the public agrees with the centerpiece of the conservative tax program: making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent. In contrast, 62 percent want to either repeal tax cuts for the wealthy while keeping the rest of the cuts (37 percent) or repeal all of the tax cuts (25 percent).
If Lieberman wants “the American story” to come true for middle- and low-income workers, he should be supporting a progressive tax system.