Obama to propose ‘Buffett Rule’ to raise taxes on millionaires

September 19, 2011

By Meghashyam Mali -The Hill

President Obama will call for a new higher tax rate on millionaires to ensure they pay at least the same share of income in taxes that middle class families do.

A White House official confirmed the president will unveil the plan Monday at the White House as part of a broad proposal with recommendations aimed at deficit reduction.

The plan will be called the “Buffett Rule” in reference to billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has long called on lawmakers to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress,” Buffett wrote in a New York Times op-ed published on Aug. 15th. “It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

The president’s deficit-trimming suggestions for the congressional supercommittee tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in savings by Nov. 23rd is also expected to include savings in entitlement programs alongside tax code reforms.

The president’s call for higher tax rates on millionaires comes as GOP lawmakers have reiterated their opposition to increasing tax revenues and as doubts have grown that Republicans and Democrats on the deficit panel can agree on a plan for overhauling the tax code before their deadline.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Friday that tax reform that only eliminated tax breaks and lowered rates but did not produce new revenues “doesn’t do anything to solve the deficit.”

He added that it would be difficult for the supercommittee to reach a deal “without revenues on the table.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that any comprehensive tax reform proposal would need to reduce deficit spending on its own.

“Any tax reform and closing of loopholes, which is really important for us to do as a sense of fairness, must also reduce the deficit,” said Pelosi.

Republicans however are have reiterated their opposition to reducing the deficit through tax increases.

In a speech Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said increases were “off the table” and not “a viable option” for the supercommittee. Instead, Boehner again called for lower rates to form the centerpiece of a tax code reform.

To read more, visit: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/182161-obama-to-call-for-higher-taxes-on-millionaires



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