Senate Republicans blocked a debate and, ultimately, a vote on the Buffet Rule, which would have ensured that the wealthiest pay at least a 30 percent tax rate. The Republicans' obstructionism comes despite the fact that a Gallup poll last week said that 60 percent of Americans supported the proposal–followed by a CNN poll reflecting 72 percent support. The GOP, however, is protecting the financial interests of the one percent, including its upcoming presidential candidate. Mitt Romney paid a 13.9 percent tax rate on $21.7 million income in 2010; he has released no other tax returns.
Interviewed by Ed Schultz following the Republican move, Sen. Bernie Sanders commented on widening income inequality and historically low tax rates for the wealthy, trends that corrupt our politics and threaten democracy itself. Watch:
SANDERS: If we don't turn this around, we are going to lose the democratic foundations that have made this country the nation that it is, and we are going to move very rapidly, which is where we're going right now, into an oligarchic form of society where a handful of people on the top control not only the economics of the nation; they control the politics as well.
SCHULTZ: When you're looking at 72 percent of the American people want something and the Congress doesn't deliver, what does that tell you?
SANDERS: That tells you that our Republican friends are in the pocket of big money interests... With Citizens United Supreme Court decision, these billionaires are pumping huge amounts of money into the political process so that they can become even wealthier.