A group of House Democrats has formed its own “Gang of Six” to push for progressive tax reform — in which the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthiest Americans is “just the beginning.”
The progressive group also includes Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Barbara Lee (D-Calif).
The group says “low and moderate-income Americans are already contributing to deficit reduction,” and that “progressive tax reform is the only way that wealthy Americans can share significantly in that sacrifice.”
The group outlined six tenets of a progressive tax policy. They say it must be revenue positive, promote responsible corporate behavior, be a “global system,” have “fair rates” for the wealthiest taxpayers, reexamine expenditures that benefit the wealthy, and protect the poor and elderly.
Some of the group’s proposed policies are in line with the “fairness” doctrine that President Obama staked his reelection efforts on.
“To maintain or strengthen progressivity, we should end one of the leading contributors to after-tax income inequality in this country, the special tax breaks for investment income,” the group said in its statement, released Thursday. “Workers who get their salaries from wages often pay a higher effective tax rate than wealthy individuals like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett who make most of their income from selling stocks and bonds or from dividends.”
Republicans are pushing to renew all of the Bush-era tax rates ahead of the Jan. 1 “fiscal cliff” deadline. A handful of Republicans, led by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), have said they’re willing to lock in rates for those making less than $250,000 annually now but would want to negotiate cuts for those making more in the new year.
The new "Gang of Six" Democrats draws its name from a bipartisan Senate Gang of Six that, during the 2011 debt ceiling debate, produced a plan to reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next 10 years and increase tax revenues by $1 trillion by closing a variety of special tax breaks and havens.
The plan was negotiated by Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Mark WarnerMark WarnerSenate Intel panel to probe Trump team's ties to Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report Blackout forces brief delay in Pompeo confirmation hearing MORE (D-Va.), Mike CrapoMike CrapoLive coverage of Sessions confirmation hearing Senate rejects Paul's balanced budget Dems attack Trump SEC pick's ties to Wall Street MORE (R-Idaho), Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (R-Ga.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinCubs celebrate World Series win at White House HUD finalizes rule to protect children from lead Trump should work with Congress to save 'Dreamers' MORE (D-Ill.) and Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (R-Okla.). It was ignored by Congress, which instead formed a deficit-cutting “supercommittee” that failed to strike a deal and left them to grapple with the current Jan. 1 “fiscal cliff” deadline.