One reason you can expect unanimous Republican opposition to Senate Democrats' latest jobs bill Friday is because it includes a tax -- a 0.5 percent surtax on income above $1 million starting in January 2013.But what does this "0.5 percent surtax on income above $1 million" mean, exactly?
That would raise enough money over the next 10 years to cover the $35 billion cost of hiring and retaining about 400,000 teachers and emergency responders next year -- but for Republicans, it's not worth it.
The Vice President explains it so that even Pat Toomey can understand:
You have a one-half of one-percent surtax on the 1,000,0001th dollar -- in other words it doesn't affect anybody who makes $999,000, it doesn't affect anybody making $999,999 -- and if you want to find the guy who make $1,000,0001, it only affects that $1. That's the only thing the rate goes up on.And:
If you make $1.1 million, and god-willing this passes, you would pay next year, $500 more in taxes.So of course, it was blocked:
Senate Republicans, joined by three conservative members of the Democratic caucus, blocked a floor debate on a key portion of President Obama's jobs bill, which would have provided states $35 billion to hire or retain teachers and emergency responders.Here's the roll call.
The final tally on the late Thursday vote was 50-50, with Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Ben Nelson (D-NE) voting with the entire Republican caucus to support the filibuster.
Here's the text of the legislation.
Perhaps the next time Senator Toomey's Pittsburgh office is filled with constituents seeking information on his voting plans, they'll ask him (paraphrasing the Vice President):
Why didn't you vote to put 400,000 school teachers back in classrooms; 18,000 cops back on the street, and 7,000 firefighters back into firehouses? Why did you, instead vote to save people with average income over $1 million a one-half of one-percent increase in tax on every dollar they make over a million?But we already know the answer to that.