The top Senate Democrat went after Mitt Romney by name Thursday, as Democrats continue to paint the presumptive GOP presidential nominee as out-of-touch with average Americans at a time when questions continue to surface regarding Romney’s time as a wealthy financier.
In remarks on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada invoked Romney’s name as he contrasted the tax policies of President Obama and other Democrats with those of Republicans.
Reid cited a new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that found that in 2009 rates fell to their lowest level in more than 30 years.
“Much of that decline is thanks to President Obama – who has consistently fought to lower taxes for middle-class families over the last three and a half years,” Reid says.
Specifically, the CBO report says that average tax rate in the United states fell to the lowest rate since 1979 – 17.4 percent.
“Of course, that’s still a higher rate than Mitt Romney pays,” Reid quips. “But most Americans don’t have the benefit of Swiss bank accounts or tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.”
Reid’s remarks are aimed at bolstering support for Obama’s plan to maintain Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class while letting them expire at the end of the year for the wealthiest taxpayers — a move Republicans have fiercely opposed.
“As our economy continues to recover, it’s critical we keep tax rates low for the middle class. They’re still struggling to pay the mortgage, send their kids to college and save for retirement,” Reid says. “But there’s one group that’s not struggling – Mitt Romney and the rest of the top 2 percent of Americans. They can afford to contribute a little bit more to get this country’s deficit under control.
Yet Republicans are prepared to block tax cuts for 98 percent of families unless Democrats agree to even more giveaways for the richest of the rich. As Republicans continue to argue the wealthiest 2 percent can’t contribute even a little more, I urge them to talk to the three-quarters of Americans who disagree.”
In closing, Reid cites public-opinion surveys which find nearly 60 percent of Republicans nationwide believe the wealthiest Americans should shoulder a larger share of the responsibility for getting the federal budget deficit under control.
“And I urge them to talk to a few of the more than 135 million taxpayers who are waiting to see whether Republicans will continue holding their tax cuts hostage,” he says.