Senator Sheldon Whitehouse calls a legislative package he unveiled Monday a way to make taxes fairer for middle-class Americans.
Whitehouse says the three bills in his package represent $310 billion dollars over 10 years -- and could help pay for other tax cuts sought by Republicans.
"This comes at it from the other side and says, 'here are the things you can do to raise the money and make the tax code fairer and simpler,' " Whitehouse said. "Three hundred ten billion – a third of a trillion dollars over 10 years – gives you a pretty good pool of resources to lower tax rates, if that’s what you want to do."
One of Whitehouse’s bills, the so-called "Buffett Act" would make Americans who make more than $ 3 million a year pay 30 percent of their income in taxes, starting with the second million in a year. The two other bills are meant to close offshore tax benefits. The super-investor pointed out how he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary.
Whitehouse says the legislation may have a better shot with the new Republican majority in the Senate. The senator says the GOP has an incentive to balance corporate tax cuts with reductions for regular Americans.
"They need to prove to the American people that they can govern, that they can be responsible, that they’re not just a bomb-throwing and obstructive minority," Whitehouse said. "So that changes their motivation on issues like tax reform."
Whitehouse unveiled the bills during a news conference in his Providence office.