It’s a pretty big deal to have a bill named after you. And, with any luck, pretty soon, it will actually be the law of the land.
I’m talking about the Buffett Rule, named after the Oracle of Omaha. President Obama’s talked about it for months. But now it’s actually a bill – sponsored by Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse.
It’s based on a very simple premise, put forward by Buffett himself, that no millionaire should pay a smaller share of his income in taxes than middle-class families pay.
Today, unfortunately – and unfairly – too many millionaires do pay less.
Those millionaires have done very well. Since 1979, in fact, the average after-tax income of the top 1 percent has risen nearly 400 percent. Middle-class Americans, meanwhile, saw their incomes rise just 40 percent.
And that top 1 percent typically pays only 15 to 18 percent in taxes – while middle-class families pay an average 25 percent. The Whitehouse bill will require millionaires to pay a minimum 30 percent.
The Whitehouse bill comes up for a vote in the Senate next Monday. For all Senators, Republican and Democrat, it’s a test: Do you stand with working-class families? Or do you stand with Mitt Romney?
That’s my parting shot for today.