Rand Paul: ‘Millionaires and billionaires pay all the taxes’

By David Edwards
Sunday, November 20, 2011 11:42 EDT
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Rand Paul on CNN
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Sunday that millionaires and billionaires pay “all the taxes” in the U.S.

The tea party favorite told CNN’s Candy Crowley that he was against repealing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because the rich are already paying their fair share.

“The top 1 percent, the millionaires in our country, pay on average 29 percent of their income,” Paul declared. “The top 50 percent of wage earners pay 96 percent of the income tax. The rich and the middle class are paying their fair share.”

“There are anomalies, there are aberrations,” he continued. “If you are a millionaire or you are a corporation that’s not paying, we’re all for eliminating those loopholes and deductions. But on average, the vast majority of millionaires and billionaires are paying all of the taxes. That’s who pays the income tax.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently found that 25 percent of millionaires pay a lower tax rate than 10 million middle-income Americans. The IRS found that in 2009, 1,470 millionaires and billionaires actually paid no taxes at all.

While Paul is working to make sure the richest Americans continue to receive a tax cut, he’s against extending unemployment benefits or a 2 percent payroll tax cut for the less wealthy.

“If you want to extend unemployment benefits, they have to be paid for,” Paul explained. “So the question is, do we want to borrow money from China to pay people not to work? … I want to get millions of people back to work and the only thing historically that’s ever worked in our country is to lower tax rates on the upper income folks.”

“Let me ask you about the payroll tax,” Crowley said. “That is Social Security taxes, which were cut by about 2 percent for most people and that will also expire so there is Social Security, their payroll tax will go up. Are you willing to extend that?”

“I have a difficult time with saying it’s good thing for Social Security to lower the amount of money coming into it right now because it is a system that’s $6 trillion short,” Paul replied. “We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get there, but I have a tough time with figuring out how that helps Social Security.”

Watch this video from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Nov. 20, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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