Senator Baldwin Supports Buffett Rule Amendment to Tax Proposal

Amendment would help ensure wealthy pay fair share in taxes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin cosponsored the amendment introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to the Senate Republicans’ tax proposal that would institute the Buffett Rule to prevent America’s top earners from paying lower tax rates than middle-class families.  The amendment, based on Whitehouse’s Paying a Fair Share Act, would ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective federal tax rate. 

“For far too long, our tax code has unfairly favored the wealthiest Americans. We need to make sure millionaires and billionaires at the top are paying their fair share so we can cut taxes for the working class and small businesses, and rebuild our middle class,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to once again join Senator Whitehouse to make the ‘Buffett Rule’ a reality. This amendment will ensure that our path forward is guided by fairness and a respect for hard working middle class families.”

“Rhode Island nurses and teachers shouldn’t have to pay higher tax rates than millionaires and billionaires,” said Whitehouse, who first introduced the Paying a Fair Share Act in 2012 and reintroduced it in April.  “This amendment would help to make sure that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.  If Republicans really wanted to make our tax system work for the middle class, they’ll pass this amendment.”

In 2014, the highest-earning 400 Americans – making an average of $317 million each – paid an average effective federal tax rate of just 23 percent, far short of the top marginal rate of 40 percent. 

The “Buffett Rule” is named after Warren Buffett, the legendary investor who has famously lamented that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.  Former President Barack Obama proposed adding the Buffett Rule to the tax code to ensure that those at the top pay at least the tax rate paid by middle-class families.

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ) also cosponsored the amendment.