The congressional Supercommittee has failed to develop a bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit because Republicans like Representative Cory Gardner (CO-04) demanded more tax breaks for billionaires and protected tax loopholes for Big Oil, while insisting that the Medicare guarantee be eliminated. Gardner has even signed conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform pledge to protect tax breaks for the ultra wealthy at the expense of the middle class and seniors.
“Colorado voters won’t agree with Representative Cory Gardner and Republicans’ plan to give even more tax breaks to billionaires, while insisting that seniors pay more for Medicare,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The American people want a balanced approach that reduces the debt, but Cory Gardner just wants to protect special interest tax loopholes and tax breaks for billionaires while failing to create any jobs.”
Former Ronald Reagan Economic Advisor Bruce Bartlett reports that 27 polls have shown the American public supports these measures which Gardner opposes.
Gardner Pledged to Protect Tax Breaks for Millionaires. Gardner signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, stating that he would oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. Americans for Tax Reform has claimed that instituting a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires is a tax increase. [Americans for Tax Reform Pledge Signers, accessed 11/15/11; Americans for Tax Reform, 10/10/11]
Former Ronald Reagan Advisor Bruce Bartlett: 27 Polls Say People Support Higher Taxes to Reduce the Deficit. Bruce Bartlett, a veteran of the Reagan and Bush administrations, has an updated list of 27 polls within the last year which all show that the vast majority of Americans support higher taxes to help reduce the deficit. [Bruce Bartlett’s blog, 9/19/11; Washington Monthly, 8/10/11]
· 69 percent of independents favor tax increases on wealthy Americans. [CNN/ORC Poll, 11/20/11]
· 86 percent of moderates and 74 percent of independents support a balanced approach to reducing the deficit. 65 percent of moderates and 57 percent of independents favor tax increases on those over $250,000. [CBS/New York Times Poll, 9/15/11]
· 70 percent of Americans favor increasing taxes by eliminating certain tax loopholes, and 66 percent back increasing income taxes for individuals making more than $200,000 and families earning at least $250,000. [USA Today/Gallup [USA Today, 9/20/11]
· 80 percent of moderates and 68 percent of independents support dealing with the deficit by raising taxes on income over $250,000. [Marist-McClatchy, 8/9/11]
· 63 percent of Americans support a deficit reduction bill that includes increased taxes on higher-income Americans and businesses. Independent voters support increasing taxes on the wealthiest by 62 percent to 37 percent. [CNN, 9/19/11]
· 62 percent of Americans prefer the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction recommend a balanced approach. Just 28 percent prefer spending cuts alone. [National Journal, 9/20/11]
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: Country Needs New Revenues. Maya MacGuineas, the president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, director of the Fiscal Policy Program at the New America Foundation, member of the Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force, and part of the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform, concluded, “You can not get to any reasonable [fiscal] goal without new revenues.” Similarly, she has said, “Policies that exempt tax cuts from budget constraints are not only economically dangerous, they are cowardly.” [Maya MacGuineas’s Testimony Before the Fiscal Commission, 7/29/10; CNN, 1/10/11]
1,500 Millionaires Paid NO Income Taxes In 2009. “At a time when America is borrowing about 40 cents of every dollar it spends because tax revenues cannot keep up with government spending, hundreds of America’s wealthiest households are paying no income tax at all. According to a recently released IRS report, almost 1,500 of America’s 230,000 millionaires avoided paying any federal income tax in 2009.” Most of the money went through tax “expenditures,” which are deductions, write-offs, subsidies, and loopholes. [ABC News, 8/6/11; USA Today, 8/8/11; see also: IRS Publication 1304]