Illinois' 9th District congresswoman Jan Schakowsky introduced HR 1124, a bill she's calling the Fairness in Taxation Act. The legislation would create a new series of tax brackets for the country's very wealthiest earners. The current tax code, Schakowsky writes in Huffington Post-Chicago, "fails to distinguish the merely 'well-off,' from the 'super-duper rich.' By introducing new tax brackets, we ensure a basic principal of fairness: those who have benefited the most from the opportunities that our great country provides should also invest in making those opportunities a reality for all Americans." Here are the new tax brackets her bill proposes:
According to the Tax Foundation, the current top income tax rate of 35 percent starts for heads of households, wealthy individuals, and married joint filers with incomes up $379,150, a rate pushed by ex-President George W. Bush and temporarily extended by the lame duck Congress and Obama administration last December. The top rate is down from the 39.6 percent during the Clinton White House years.
There's no chance HR 1124 will gain traction in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, but with a battle about the Bush tax cuts looming, Schakowsky's effort seems aimed at starting to shape that debate. "Despite GOP cries for austerity and fiscal restraint, they continue to defend corporate subsidies like tax breaks for big oil companies and more tax breaks for the wealthiest," she writes.