Yesterday, the US Senate considered a resolution, S. 1323, calling on the richest Americans to do their share for fiscal discipline. Senate rules being what they are, the actual resolution never had a vote. Instead, the Senate voted on a motion to end debate (“cloture”), which failed, 51 to 49, or 9 votes short of the 60% margin needed to end debate.
The resolution is commendable in its clarity. Too bad so many Senators didn’t recognize its wisdom.
SECTION 1. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON SHARED SACRIFICE.
(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Wall Street Journal reports that median pay for chief financial officers of S&P 500 companies increased 19 percent to $2,900,000 last year.
(2) Over the past 10 years, the median family income has declined by more than $2,500.
(3) Twenty percent of all income earned in the United States is earned by the top 1 percent of individuals.
(4) Over the past quarter century, four-fifths of the income gains accrued to the top 1 percent of individuals.
(b) Sense of the Senate- It is the sense of the Senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort.
All Republican Senators voted “no.” In this, they were joined by two Democrats, Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) and David Pryor (AR).