Republican Rep. To Propose Surtax On Millionaires

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)

If there’s one thing that House Republicans have stood for since retaking the lower chamber in 2010, it is that any tax increases — even on the wealthiest Americans — were completely off the table. Holding to the mantra of “Washington does not have a revenue problem; Washington has a spending problem,” the GOP has time and again blocked any measure to raise rates on millionaires.

However, one House Republican — Rep. Rick Crawford (AR) — plans to break with the rest of his party today by proposing a surtax on millionaires:

Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford will propose a surtax on millionaires Thursday morning, a crack in the steadfast GOP opposition to extracting more money from the nation’s top earners. […]

Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.

“He’s watched the Gangs of Six and 100 and deficit commissions, as well as leadership’s budget and tax plan, and he feels there will never be a deal that will pass the Senate without a revenue component,” a Crawford aide said, describing the legislation without attribution because it has not yet been officially announced.

Crawford has signed the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge, making him the latest Republican to abandon fealty to anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist’s organization and its destructive pledge. Last week, Rep. Tim Johnson (R-IL) blasted the pledge as “disingenuous and irresponsible.”

At the moment, 25 percent of millionaires pay lower taxes than millions of middle-class families, while poll after poll has shown that Americans support raising more revenue from those at the top of the income scale.