The Buffett Rule Splits Connecticut Senators

Apr 17, 2012

On the eve of today’s deadline for filing state and federal taxes, Connecticut’s Senators split over raising taxes on the richest Americans.

The so-called Buffett Rule would make all Americans earning more than $1 million pay a 30 percent tax rate on their investment income. Named after billionaire Warren Buffett , who doesn’t like paying a higher tax rate than his secretary, the rule failed on a procedural vote Monday in the Senate. 

But Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal – who supports the Buffett Rule – says the effort is not dead. "We’ve only fought the battle and we’ve lost it, but the not the war. And we’re going to continue very strongly and enthusiastically.”

President Obama is campaigning on the need to raise the taxes on the rich. Republicans say the Buffett Rule is a political stunt. Independent Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who missed the vote, says he doesn’t believe it’s a stunt. But Lieberman says he opposes the Buffett Rule because it would discourage investments and hurt the economy.

Senator Blumenthal disagrees. "It’s really about the fairness of the whole tax code and the rising disparity in the burdens that people in different income levels bear."

There are few states where the Buffett Rule would have a greater impact than Connecticut, home to more than nine thousand millionaires and billionaires.