Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being targeted by a progressive group urging lawmakers to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for those earning more than $250,000 annually.
The ‘If I Were a Rich Man Tour’ is a national effort that will make a stop in Louisville on Monday to pressure the GOP leader to back President Obama’s proposal to end the tax breaks for wealthier Americans. Under Mr. Obama’s plan, all Americans would keep their current tax rates for the first quarter of a million dollars they earn.
But Republicans have opposed the idea, arguing that it will be a tax increase on job creators and further slow the economic recovery.
Tera Greene is a group volunteer with the tour. She says McConnell is being focused on because he is one of the wealthiest lawmakers to oppose the proposal.
“We’re asking why they continue to vote to line their own pockets instead of defending the best interest of their constituents,” he says.
A recent listing published by The Hill shows McConnell ranks 37th overall among the 50 wealthiest members of Congress, with most of his wealth in savings and retirement accounts.
Green insists her group isn’t opposed to personal success.
“It’s not about targeting how much they have as wealthy people,” she says. “We believe that everyone should have the right to make as much money as they want. However, when they are continuing to extend these Bush tax cuts they’re blocking efforts to reduce the deficit and it does not protect funding for critical programs and services like Medicare and education.”
Over the summer, McConnell did offer the White House a deal for a one-year extension of the tax relief in exchange for comprehensive tax reform but that idea was rejected.
McConnell called the president’s proposal a distraction.
From The Hill:
“His goal isn’t jobs; it’s income distribution. It’s his idea of fairness — which means you earn, he takes,” McConnell said. “The president’s top priority for the past year hasn’t been creating jobs; it’s been saving his own. And his advisers seem to think that if they create enough scapegoats, he’ll slip by in November.”
McConnell said instead of extending only some of the tax cuts, Congress should extend the Bush tax rates for all income brackets.
The tax fairness tour is being organized by ‘Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice’, which consists of a group of nine volunteers traveling nationwide. The tour will stop at the Greater Louisville United Labor Picnic, which is at the Pavilion at the Louisville Zoo.