Sen. Alexander: "Most Of The People" Hit By Schumer's Tax Plan "Live On Wall Street"

December 02, 2010 10:12 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

With members of Congress fighting over the fate of the expiring Bush tax cuts, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has put forward a compromise that would maintain the current rates on all earnings under $1 million. Even though Schumer's plan raises President Obama's original threshold for letting upper-income tax cuts expire by a multiple of four, Republican lawmakers are sticking with their dubious argument that such a plan would be unfair to small businesses across the country.

Yesterday, however, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) undermined the credibility of his party's claims. While speaking on the Senate floor, Alexander said that even though he opposes the proposal, he was "delighted" by Schumer's willingness to target his own constituents for tax increases. "Most of the people whose taxes he's trying to raise live in New York," he said. "I mean, they're not in Tennessee. We're a relatively low income state." Joking that Schumer's plan basically amounts to a "tax earmark," Alexander argued that it would "raise taxes on just a small number of people, most of whom live on Wall Street in New York."

ALEXANDER: I'm delighted to hear the eloquence of the Senator from New York. And as I was listening to him I was reminded that the people — most of the people whose taxes he is trying to raise live in New York. I mean they're not in Tennessee, we're a relatively low income state. So I admire him for his courage on — that's almost a tax earmark, you know, to — to be so specific that we're gonna raise taxes on just a small number of people, most of whom live on Wall Street in New York.

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