Senate Dems Look to Take Advantage of Popular Support for American Jobs Act

Senate Dems Look to Take Advantage of Popular Support for American Jobs Act

Harry Reid and other Dems want to raise 5.6% surtax on millionaires to pay for Obama's AJA, and draw a target around the GOP.

Obama's American Jobs Act has streadily been gaining broad support from many demographics across the country. According to a recent ABCNews poll, Obama enjoys the trust of 52% of respondents in creating jobs, while Republicans are trusted by 34%, a 12% increase for Obama and a 6% decrease for Republicans from polls taken before Obama's Jobs Act. Senate Democrats under the increasingly aggressive leadership of House Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) are attempting to harness this popular support, force moderate Democrats into their corner, and place Senate and House Republicans on squarely on the wrong side of public opinion. They want to do this, according to the New York Times, by proposing a surtax on millionaires in order to pay for Obama's jobs plan.

Reid's plan initially would have placed a 5% surtax on every $100,000 over $1 million that people made across the country, allegedly raising $445 billion over 10 years, which would almost entirely cover the proposed cost of Obama's American Jobs Act, which would be a $450 billion withdrawal. "The proposal," he said, would “have the richest of the rich pay a little bit more” — specifically 5 percent more to fund job creation and ensure this country’s economic success.” Reid revised his plan, however, in order to woo more moderate Senate Democrats to his side and present a unified front against Republicans, who have already promised to filibuster in the Senate, and flatly vote it down in the GOP-controlled House. The revised plan, pushed by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) would place a 5.6% surtax on millionaires and not take effect until 2013, rather than 2012. Drawing the line at a million dollars is the right thing to do,” Schumer told The New York Times, “In the eyes of many, it is hard to ask more of households that make $250,000 or $300,000 a year. Many of them are not rich. In large parts of the country, that kind of income does not get you a big home or lots of vacations or anything else that’s associated with wealth.”

Even pulling every wayward Democrat in the Senate together behind the new millionaire surtax, which probably won't happen, Republicans will still have the option of filibustering, which they are almost assuredly going to do. In addition, the House republicans have squarely denied any effort to raise taxes. However, Reid and other Senate Democrats are clearly hoping to rally not only lawmakers, but public opinion amidst the Occupy Wall Street protests and a new CBS poll that shows that 64% of Americans support a surtax on the rich.