The Democratic Party has re-decided that populism is popular. With 81 percent of Americans saying they support higher taxes for the rich, Democrats in Congress are pushing a 5 percent surtax on millionaires to pay for the American Jobs Act. Liberal Democrats are starting to endorse the Occupy Wall Street movement. Elizabeth Warren's talking points are showing up in President Obama's speeches.
And now Democrats are running the ad, above, that links Republicans to Wall Street. Specifically it pushes for the Richard Cordray nomination for head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (up before the Senate Banking Committee today). At a 1:47, the ad's a little long and a little wonky, and maybe most useful as evidence that Democrats are going for it on economic populism.
Meanwhile, Republicans have offered up the legislative equivalent of a smirk. From the Hill:
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and eight other House Republicans on Wednesday moved to counteract President Obama's campaign to raise taxes on the rich by offering legislation that would make it easier for wealthy taxpayers to donate as much of their money to the government as they wish.Scalise introduced the "Buffett Rule Act," H.R. 3099, which would require the IRS to create a new line on people's tax forms to let rich taxpayers pay extra to help pay down the debt.
This is the second voluntary-tax proposal from the GOP this year. The first, "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is," has died in two previous sessions and is now languishing in a sizeable pile of bills in the House Ways and Means Committee. Which is to say that Republicans have not been very serious about this voluntary-tax proposal before, and they may not be more serious now.
(On the show: Americans like taxing millionaires)