Senate to vote on "Sense of the Senate on Shared Sacrifice"

Senate Republicans were appalled last week when they learned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had scheduled no budget-related work for this week, given that the Senate supposedly sacrificed its Fourth of July recess just to address the debt and deficit.

Today, Reid responded to Republican criticisms — but surely not in the way Republicans would have wanted. He abandoned a vote on a resolution pertaining to the president’s military action in Libya and instead brought forward for consideration the following “Sense of the Senate”:


(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The Wall Street Journal reports that median pay for chief financial officers of S&P 500 companies increased 19 percent to $2,900,000 last year.

(2) Over the past 10 years, the median family income has declined by more than $2,500.

(3) Twenty percent of all income earned in the United States is earned by the top 1 percent of individuals.

(4) Over the past quarter century, four-fifths of the income gains accrued to the top 1 percent of individuals.

(b) Sense of the Senate – It is the sense of the Senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort.

Obviously, this sort of symbolic, political, partisan move is not the sort of substantive deficit-cutting and budget-creating work Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and others have called for — but it is the umpteenth indication that Democrats aim to increase taxes in whatever debt ceiling deal they strike.