When the playing field is level, nobody can out-work or out-innovate Missourians. But families and businesses across our state understand that hard work just won't pay off if the deck is stacked against them. When big corporations and foreign countries like China cheat the system, Missouri families, jobs, and businesses pay the price.
That's why I spent the first few weeks in April traveling across Missouri, standing up for working families by demanding a fairer tax code and a more level playing field.
From St. Louis and Warrenton, to Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia, I talked with folks being forced to empty their wallets to fill up the gas tank- all while living with a tax code that forces them to pay for huge tax giveaways to the same oil companies squeezing them with high prices at the pump. Rewarding huge oil companies that are punishing working families isn't fair, and it has to change.
We can start by ending the huge tax giveaways to the biggest oil companies, and using that money instead to help pay down the national deficit and create new energy jobs. Legislation was recently considered to do just that- but unfortunately, too few Senators supported it, so the tax giveaways to Big Oil remain on the books. I'm not giving up, and I'm hopeful that, armed with more feedback from Missouri families, I'll be able to help change some minds.There's no silver bullet to lower gas prices- if there were, it would've been used already. But I'm fighting on several fronts for relief- from supporting construction of the Keystone pipeline, to cracking down on speculators driving up the price of oil. And I've told the President that the time is now to release some oil from the nation's strategic reserve to lower prices at the pump.
I also talked this month with middle class Missouri families who work hard, while also paying a larger share of their income in taxes than the wealthiest Americans. This week, the Senate considered "The Buffett Rule," to ensure that the richest Americans like Warren Buffet do not pay less in federal taxes, as a portion of income, than middle class families. I support the Buffett Rule, because we need a system that's fairer for working families and small businesses.
Middle class families shouldn't shoulder the burden of addressing our nation's debt, while multi-millionaires use the tax code in a way that makes our debt grow even larger. Worse yet, some want the middle class to keep paying, while giving the wealthy even more tax breaks so they can pay even less. I won't stand for it. It's a commonsense concept: millionaires should have to pay their fair share-at least as much as the middle class-when it comes to financing our military, reducing our national debt and keeping America the strongest nation in the world.