U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Introduction of “Buffett Rule” Tax Reform Legislation

The Paying a Fair Share Act would prevent President Trump from letting the wealthiest Americans pay lower tax rates than many middle-class families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the same day that President Donald Trump unveiled a tax overhaul proposal that would slash taxes for some of the wealthiest Americans and dramatically increase the national debt, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined the introduction of “Buffett Rule” legislation. The Paying a Fair Share Act would ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective federal tax rate. The legislation would reduce the federal deficit by an estimated $38 billion over the next decade.

“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 introduce the Paying a Fair Share Act to make the ‘Buffett Rule’ a reality.  This legislation will ensure that our path forward is guided by fairness and a respect for hard working middle class families.”

The legislation was introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) in cosponsoring the legislation. 

The Paying a Fair Share Act would apply only to taxpayers with income over $1 million, including capital gains and dividends.  Taxpayers earning over $2 million would be subject to a 30 percent minimum federal tax rate.  The minimum rate would phase in for incomes between $1 million and $2 million. The bill includes language to preserve the incentive for charitable giving.

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.