A New House 'Gang of Six'? Progressive Lawmakers Say Yes
They call themselves a progressive new “Gang of Six” – including the two co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. And they have come up with their own “big picture” set of six principles for tax reform. Among them is the notion that allowing the upper income tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush to expire should only be the beginning of the discussion on taxes.
Whether their ideas will have significant impact the “fiscal cliff” talks is uncertain. But altogether, the progressive caucus represents at least 76 House Democrats.
“We need to be honest about what it takes to fund job creating investments, to protect our social safety net, and to get our deficits under control. These principles are the roadmap to meet this nation’s needs,” said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., the budget task force chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, in a statement. The rest of this “gang” involved in drafting the principles are caucus co-chairs Keith Ellison, D-Minn., Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and John Conyers, D-Mich.
Parts of their manifesto call for corporate tax reform to be revenue positive, and while supportive of incentives for things like hiring disadvantaged workers, they say, loopholes like “corporate welfare” for the fossil fuel industry should be eliminated. They also oppose a “territorial system” that would increase incentives to outsource jobs, and support modernizing our tax code to end the current advantage companies have to move profits and investments overseas.
On individuals, the group says tax breaks should be ended that treat investment income different from work, and that estate tax on the very wealthy should be strengthened. They also want tax rates for the richest 2 percent must return to the levels they paid under former President Bill Clinton and we should establish new rates for the super wealthy. Here is their plan:
This post as been updated. An earlier version of this article misstated which state Schakowsky represents. She is from Illinois.