Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leveled a blistering attack at Republicans Tuesday that echoed the message of Occupy Wall Street, saying the GOP wants to protect the very richest Americans at the expense of everyone else.
Reid (D-Nev.) was arguing against Senate Republican resistance to a $60 billion measure that would pump cash into infrastructure and transportation projects in hopes of boosting the economy.
It would be funded with a 0.7 percent tax on millionaires’ income above the first $1 million — a levy that Reid called a “no-brainer.”
Republicans and a few Democrats voted against starting debate on a similar plan last month that focused on police officers and teachers, and three Democrats still have not declared support for this one. Both bills are pieces of President Barack Obama’s jobs plan.
So on Tuesday, Reid decided to highlight just how well the would-be surtax payers are doing. He pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report, released last week, that found income inequality at its highest level since the late 1920s, having nearly tripled since 1979.
“They’re the same millionaires and billionaires whose annual income has increased by more than 275 percent,” Reid said in a floor speech. “Their share of the nation’s income is higher than at any time since 1928 … since just before the stock market crashed, plunging this country into a Great Depression,” he said.
“Now they take home more than half of all the money earned each year in this great country, even after taxes,” he added. “That means this 1 percent now makes more than the other 99 percent combined.”