STATEMENT: CAP’s Economic Experts on Taxing Millionaires to Pay for the American Jobs Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, at a press conference to discuss plans for advancing the American Jobs Act, Senate Democratic leaders proposed a 5 percent surtax on those earning $1 million a year as a new way to pay for President Barack Obama’s plan.

The Center for American Progress’s Michael Ettlinger, Michael Linden, and Seth Hanlon issued the following statement regarding this announcement:

The Center for American Progress has long advocated for the idea of imposing higher taxes on millionaires who make up less than 1 percent of taxpayers. As a percentage of their incomes, millionaires are now paying about one-quarter less of their income to federal taxes than they did in the mid-1990s. Millionaires paid an average tax rate of 22.4 percent in 2009, down by a quarter since 1995, when they paid an average of 30.4 percent. Asking these wealthy individuals to contribute their fair share is a sensible solution to fund the American Jobs Act and put millions of Americans back to work.

The following CAP experts will be available for comment:

  • Michael Ettlinger, Vice President for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress
  • Michael Linden, Director, Tax and Budget Policy at the Center for American Progress
  • Seth Hanlon, Director of Fiscal Policy, Doing What Works

To speak with CAP experts, please contact Katie Peters at 202.741.6285 or