The Democratic leader of the Senate has introduced a measure asking the wealthy to make a large contribution to deficit reduction.
The resolution offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday asks lawmakers to sign off on a "Sense of the Senate" that "any agreement to wealthier taxpayers should reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort."
The measure comes as Democrats argue tax breaks for businesses and the wealthy should be eliminated to help close the deficit. Republicans say such tax increases would hurt the economy.
It makes a series of findings that set up an argument for why wealthier people should pay more taxes to reduce the deficit.
It notes the median pay for CFOs of S&P 500 companies increased to $2.9 million in 2010, while the median family income has fallen by more than $2,500 over the last decade. It also finds that 20 percent of all earned income in the U.S. goes to the top 1 percent of individuals, and that four-fifths of the income gains over the last 25 years accrued to the same top 1 percent.
The legislation isn't likely to go anywhere, as the two parties have intensified their partisan sniping over the last week on the debt talks.
The legislation is another sign that Democrats and Republicans are no closer to finding a solution to the debt crisis and the related question of how to increase the U.S. debt ceiling. Both the House and Senate return next week, but a path for progress is not yet clear.