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Vote Alert

“NO” on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2230, the “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012.”

April 16, 2012

NTU urges Senators to vote “NO” on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2230, the “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012.” Also called the “Buffett Rule,” S. 2230 is nothing more than a contrived talking point masquerading as tax reform.

Concocted by President Obama and billionaire financier Warren Buffett, this targeted tax increase ignores progressivity already built into the tax code while subjecting investment to multiple, punitive, layers of taxation. Despite heated rhetoric demanding they "pay their fair share," the truth is that "the rich" already shoulder the largest share of financing government. CBO data indicated that the top 1 percent of income earners made 19.4 percent of pre-tax income in America but paid 28.1 percent of all federal taxes and 39.5 percent of all income taxes.

By primarily targeting individuals with large amounts of capital gains and dividend income, the Buffett rule would set us on a course to crushing tax rates. Next year, some Americans will be hit with a new 3.8 percent surtax on investment income thanks to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That provision will rocket capital gains rates to 23.8 percent and dividend taxation to 43.4 percent, when combined with other increases built into current law. Making matters worse, the income thresholds exposed to these rates won't be adjusted for inflation.

Piling the new Buffett rule tax on top of that, especially considering that investment income is often already taxed at the corporate level with a 35 percent marginal rate, would yield staggeringly high penalties on the very activity our economy needs for a robust recovery. It would also place us out of step even with high-tax European countries, virtually all of which give preferential treatment to investment income to reduce the impact of double-taxation.

In short, the Buffett rule is but a rallying point for the campaign trail, not a policy that belongs in our already mind-numbingly complex and burdensome tax code.

Roll call votes S. 2230 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700