His name is Eric Schoenberg and he’s a former investment banker (he paid 16 percent in 2010). Meanwhile on Tuesday, the GOP minority in then Senate defeated the “Buffett Rule,” which would have put a surtax on incomes above $1 million — which 67 percent of Americans support.
Here’s the guy in his own words, on Huffington Post:
“Americans are understandably angry over the government’s multi-billion-dollar bailouts of reckless bankers. But low tax rates on investment income have put far more money into Wall Street’s pockets than the TARP bill did. Even President Obama’s proposal to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for the richest Americans would leave a top marginal rate on capital gains and qualified dividends of just 20% — half the proposed rate on labor income.
“This difference creates a loophole you can drive a Rolls Royce through. Having left Wall Street in 2002, I now earn far more money from my financial portfolio than from my job as an Adjunct Professor, and as a result I consistently pay under 15% of my income to the IRS. Still, I was astonished when my accountant told me that my tax rate for 2009 was a mere 1%.
. . . Some Tea Party types have observed that I am welcome to pay more voluntarily to the federal government if I want, but this entirely misses the point. Given the choice, of course I prefer to give money to my own causes rather than the federal government. But the whole point of democracy is for the community to decide what activities are in our collective self-interest. “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization,” and since we all share in that benefit, we should all pay our fair share of the cost.”