Schumer Bucks Party on Wall St. Tax Hikes

Leading Dem torn between monied base, middle class
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2007 3:07 PM CDT
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 26, 2007, where he, and fellow Senate Democrats called for a perjury investigation against...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rejecting populist piety, Chuck Schumer is opposing legislation that would double tax rates for private equity and hedge fund executives, arguing that he’s torn over the measures but contending that they unfairly target an industry critical to his constituency. The New York Times reports the senator, the only Democrat on both committees with jurisdiction, has massive influence on the matter.

Schumer says he’s working on an alternative plan that would raise the tax rate for America’s wealthiest 1% without targeting a particular industry. Critics call that proposal a “poison pill” that would lack any real chance of passage. Charles Grassley, a co-sponsor of the existing legislation, bluntly says of Schumer: “He wants to protect the income.”