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Eric Schoenberg talks with CNN's Lou Dobbs

Originally aired 17 July. Linked from CNN.com, Lou Dobbs Tonight.


proposals the House is debating include plans to tax the rich. But
according to a new study by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, that tax
surcharge on wealthy Americans would bring the top U.S. tax rates to
levels not seen since the 1970’s. Bill Tucker has our report.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The top one percent of
earners will pick up much of the tab for a national health care
coverage plan if the current bill in the House should pass. Under the
latest plan advanced by the House Democrats, surcharges would be
imposed on people making more than $280,000 to pay for those plans. The
surcharges would range from one percent to 5.4 percent on singles
earning more than 800,000 or couples earning more than a million. The
Tax Foundation, an advocate of lower taxes, is sounding the alarm.

SCOTT HODGE, TAX FOUNDATION: It’s truly remarkable how high tax rates
are going to be going if this proposal goes through. And we have to
remember that this federal tax proposal is not done in isolation. It’s
done in combination with the high tax rates that many states already
impose at their own level.

TUCKER: According to the Tax
Foundation, federal, state, and local taxes would rise to above 50
percent of income in 39 states, and in eight of those states the rate
would rise above 55 percent. For a group of wealthy individuals,
though, who have come together under the banner of wealth for the
common good, the cost (ph) is necessary and even welcome.

done very well out of the economic growth over the last 20 years.
That’s not as true of the middle and lower classes in this country, and
I think it’s only fair and reasonable that I, who have benefited the
most, contribute more.

TUCKER: But not everyone believes the
tax increases will stop at just the rich. People we stopped on the
streets of New York have their reservations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it’s going to probably filter down to the middle-class, which I am probably considered one of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it will affect everyone across the board.
And hopefully equal at a fair rate for what people can afford.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’re starting at the top, but I’m worried it’s going to trickle its way down.


TUCKER: And the folks generally in line with those recently surveyed by
Rasmussen. That poll released yesterday found that 78 percent of the
people who were asked believed that it’s somewhat likely the tax bill
will also fall, of course, to the middle-class — Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Bill Tucker.