Today, the Senate is scheduled to hold a vote on the Buffett Rule, the Obama administration’s proposed minimum 30 percent tax on millionaires. Prior to the vote, several wealthy Americans have come forward to offer their support for the rule — and for raising tax rates on the wealthy in general — effectively asking Congress to increase their taxes.
Case in point, former investment banker Eric Schoenberg told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing today that he feels “it is ridiculous” that he’s able to pay a much lower effective tax rate than middle class families:
SCHOENBERG: I think my taxes are too low. In 2009, for example, I paid 1 percent of my income in federal income taxes.
JANSING: Legally, I presume.
SCHOENBERG: Completely legally. I put my tax return online. I wouldn’t have done that if I’d done anything improper…For 2010, I calculated my tax rate at about 16 percent…The fact is, the people who have benefited most from the economic policies of the last 30 years have also received substantially lower taxes as a result. It is ridiculous that I pay substantially lower taxes than the average working American. I really can’t fathom the logic that allows that to take place.
Schoenberg inherited some of his fortune from his father, who Schoenberg said, “was only able to accumulate the wealth that he did because he was doing it in a society that functioned. A society that provided security in the form of police, army, firepeople. A society that provided education so that those workers were capable of filling those jobs. A society that provided national transportation infrastructure that allowed him to address a national market.”
Meanwhile, as the Senate votes on the Buffett rule, the House will be voting on a bill authored by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) that, while called a “small business” tax cut, would actually just be another windfall for millionaires.