WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Democratic leaders gave their own take to pay for President Obama's jobs plan, proposing a 5 percent surtax on millionaires to cover the initiative.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois and Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., revealed their plan Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.
"This is a change from the original proposal, but we've consulted with the White House on this and they're fine with the idea," Schumer said during a news conference. "In fact, their pay-fors were a trigger, and the president from the beginning said he welcomes alternative ways of paying for it. We think we have found the best way to pay for it, and we believe this package reflects our priorities and the president's priorities."
The White House's plan calls on the bipartisan, bicameral 12-member debt reduction supercommittee to propose nearly a half-trillion dollars worth of deficit savings needed to cover the cost of Obama's proposal.
If the panel doesn't, the White House plan would trigger a proposal that would generate $467 billion in new revenue over the next decade by closing tax loopholes benefiting oil and gas companies and eliminate deductions for individuals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 a year.
Reid said the surtax would raise $445 billion over 10 years, about the amount needed to pay for the jobs bill, The New York Times reported. However, its chances of congressional passage are slim.
"In the eyes of many, it is hard to ask more of households that make $250,000 or $300,000 a year," he said. "They are not rich, and 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 in America. It also would affect too many small businesses if you drew the line below a million dollars."
"Here we go again, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in an interview with Bloomberg Television, "continued insistence in Washington -- raise taxes on job creators right now. That's not what we need. Most people in America think it's counter-intuitive to raise taxes if you want economic growth."