Democrats Poised to Propose a Millionaire’s Tax Bracket?

September 14, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Until now, Republicans and some moderate Democrats have refused to support an Obama administration plan to keep tax breaks for middle-class families but to let taxes rise for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and households making more than $250,000 — about 2.1 percent of filers. The “wrestling match” over the tax cuts, in Obama’s evocative phrasing, seemed destined to result in a one-to-three-year extension for all Americans after some Congressional gridlock.

But now it seems that Democrats might propose a new compromise: A tax hike on millionaires, or a millionaire’s tax bracket.

TPM has confirmed the rumors with a House aide: “Some Democrats want to create a tax bracket for people earning $1 million and up, a shift that could give the party the rhetorical edge this fall.” (I will update as soon as I know who is proposing what.)

And there is some movement on the Senate side as well. Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) office confirmed to me that the senator, who previously said he does not support raising taxes for households making more than $250,000, might support raising taxes for households earning some larger amount. (His office did not have any more details than that.)

That means the millionaire’s tax bracket might get some traction. It is an issue that polls well — most Americans support letting taxes rise for the wealthiest two percent. And while some might argue a family making $250,000 a year is not “really rich” — really? — it is hard to argue millionaires can’t afford a slight hike in their top marginal rate.