President Obama makes case for Buffett Rule


President Barack Obama will make the case for the Buffett Rule, a plan to ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes, on a trip to Florida on April 10, 2012.


Joshua Roberts

President Barack Obama was expected to make his case for the Buffett Rule in Florida on Tuesday, while speaking at campaign fundraisers, according to the Associated Press.

Obama was set to argue that wealthy investors should not be paying taxes at a lower rate than middle class wage earners, in sharp contrast to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's views on the issue.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the measure, which would ensure that the wealthiest Americans paid at least 30 percent of their income in federal taxes, next week, said the AP. Though the plan has very little chance of passing Congress, Senate Democrats have said it highlights the need for economic fairness in the federal tax code.

The measure, formally known as the "Paying a Fair Share Act" was introduced by Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, according to CNN.

It was dubbed the Buffett Rule, after billionaire Warren Buffett who has urged politicians to tax the wealthiest Americans what he considers their fair share.

The White House National Economic Council (WHNEC) released a report on Tuesday stating that the proposed minimum rate for those whose income exceeded $1 million annually would restore fairness to the federal tax code, according to The New York Times.

According to the report, the average tax rate paid by the wealthiest citizens has dropped much more than for middle-class taxpayers, even while their income has grown significantly more.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the Buffett Rule, if it were approved, would raise $47 billion over 10 years, according to CNN.

The Obama administration emphasized that the Buffett Rule was more about "fairness" than about deficit reduction. Jason Furman, the principal deputy director of the WHNEC, said the measure was "never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control," according to Politico. He added, "This is not the president’s entire tax plan. We’re not trying to say this solves all our economic problems, all our budget problems."

As Obama and the Democrats geared up to argue for the Buffett Rule, Romney's communications director said, "He has already raised taxes on millions of Americans, but he won’t stop there. He wants to raise taxes on millions more by taxing small businesses and job creators," according to The Times.