Senate Republicans on Monday blocked legislation to make millionaires pay at least the same tax rate as middle-class families. "It is absurd that at a time when our country has a $15.6 trillion national debt and enormous unmet needs, the wealthiest people in this country have an effective tax rate that is lower than many middle-class people. It makes no sense that the richest people in America pay an effective tax rate lower than small businessmen, nurses, teachers, police officers and others," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. He cosponsored the measure named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who says it is unfair that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.
"Nobody should be talking about cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education, as many of my Republicans colleagues would like to do, while maintaining huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Today, the top 1 percent earns over 20 percent of all income in this country which is more than the bottom 50 percent. In terms of the distribution of wealth, as hard as it may be to believe, the richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. The richest people and largest corporations are doing phenomenal well, while the middle class is collapsing and poverty increases. This is not what democracy looks like. This is what oligarchy and plutocracy look like."