The PJ Tatler

N.Y. Dem: To be Rich is a 'Privilege,' So You Must 'Contribute Back'

A New York Democrat tasked with introducing the Senate’s middle-class tax cut in the House said on CNN this morning that it’s a privilege to be rich in this country and pay back into the country’s development.

The Democratic tax cut proposal, which mirrors President Obama’s call for extending the Bush-era tax cuts on lower- and middle-income brackets only, passed the Senate last week 51-48. Republicans vowed to stop the tax hike by passing their own tax-cut extension this week while clearing numerous bills off the House calendar in the last week before the summer recess.

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) said the Senate Dems’ version has “a couple of Republican supporters as well.”

“It’s sending a message to the leadership of the Republican Party that if you are serious about getting a tax bill through before the end of the year, here are the parameters,” he said. “And it’s along the lines of what the president has been asking for that the wealthiest two percent among us pay a bit more to secure the country, make sure that we are able to pay our bills, make sure we are at a point we know that our deficit is growing exponentially so. If we don’t pass this bill, we’ll see an increase.”

While calling on Republicans to “compromise,” Crowley deflected a question about entitlement reform by saying that “Social Security is a jewel of this country, must be preserved and maintained.”

He charged that the Republican version would help millionaires at the expense of the middle class.

“To be a millionaire in this country, it is the greatest country the world has known. It’s a privilege. And I think most people get that,” Crowley said. “…You work hard, you get ahead, make a living and you contribute back to this country and make it a better country.”