Obama Argues For Buffet Rule

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[Video: Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball features portions of President Obama's push for the Buffet Rule.]

President Obama appeared in Florida Tuesday to make the case for the “Buffett Rule,” a policy he introduced in this year’s State of the Union address. The rule would institute a minimum federal income tax of 30 percent for Americans who make more than $1 million a year.

The administration argues that the rule is designed to prevent the widespread tax evasion that allows top earners to avoid much of their social duties. It takes its name from billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has publicly called for wealthy Americans to be taxed at higher rates than their mid-level employees.

As Bill Scher of Campain for America's Future notes, "President Obama's 30% rule is squarely within the 33% "principle" that President Bush articulated and nearly every Republican member of Congress at the time supported."

There is no justification for a backer of the Bush tax cuts to abandon that principle and filibuster President Obama's Buffett Rule.

Unless, Republicans want to articulate a new principle: "no one in America should have to pay more than a third of their income to the federal government ... and no multimillionaire who lives off of stocks and dividends should pay more than a sixth of their income to the federal government."

And as Think Progress noted, back in September 2011, when President Obama first debuted the Buffet Rule, they "climbed into the wayback machine and found a video of President Ronald Reagan decrying “crazy” tax loopholes that allowed a millionaire to pay a lower tax rate than a bus driver." Watch it here.

Now as the Senate prepares to vote on the Buffet Rule bill that would ensure that the wealthy pay a minimum 30 percent tax rate, Think Progress has found more Reagan video footage:

[oldembed width="425" height="300" src="https://www.youtube.com/v/nRuWMoEWE1E?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" resize="1" fid="1"]

In this video, President Reagan describes a letter he received from an executive who wanted to come to Washington and tell Congress why it’s “wrong” that he was able to “take advantage of the present tax code” to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.

In order to have a healthy economy, it needs to work for everyone and not just the wealthy 1 percent. The Buffet Rule bill will end those tax loopholes that enable the wealthy to pay less in taxes than middle class workers.

And if it was good enough for The Gipper, the GOP should love this bill.


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