Michael Bloomberg: 'Just Allow The Bush Tax Cuts To Expire'
A prominent member of the one percent has laid out his opinion on Bush-era tax cuts: It's time to get rid of them, and not just those for the rich either.
New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg told an audience at the left-leaning Center for American Progress that lawmakers should allow the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire in 2012, first noted by ThinkProgress. He also said others need to do their part to close the federal deficit too.
After criticizing Republican leaders for not accepting the fact that "we have a serious revenue problem," Bloomberg, officially an Independent, introduced a proposal, saying that it could lead the U.S. to "a pro-growth deficit deal," according to a video posted on ThinkProgress.
Allowing the tax cuts to expire would mean huge savings for the country. Tax cuts for the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans alone cost the U.S. government $11.6 million every hour, according to the National Priorities Project.
"All of us should help carry the load, and there is actually a very straight forward and achievable way to do that," Bloomberg said. "Just allow the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012 -- not just for high income workers as the president has proposed, but for all tax brackets."
Bloomberg is the latest in a slew of super-rich Americans that have derided tax breaks for themselves. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett proposed in an August op-ed in The New York Times that lawmakers should tax the super rich at the same or higher rate as middle-class Americans. President Obama ultimately included the so-called "Buffett Rule" in his deficit cutting proposal in September.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, another celebrity billionaire, told ABC News' This Week that he’s "generally in favor of the idea that the rich should pay somewhat more," in taxes than everyone else.
In addition, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, said in an interview with CNBC last month that he supports allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. Though Greenspan isn't a billionaire, he is a registered Republican.
Bloomberg's comments come as Republican presidential candidates tout their tax proposals and Democratic and Republican party leaders wrangle over the best way to curb the nation's budget deficit. Texas Governor Rick Perry announced last month that if elected president he would cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from its current 35 percent.
In addition, Perry would give all tax payers the option of paying a 20 percent flat tax, which would boost taxes on poor and middle-class Americans who opt into the plan.
Herman Cain, another Republican candidate for president, has said that if elected, he would enact a tax plan that would cap the corporate, sales and personal income taxes at 9 percent.