Obama touts 'Buffett rule' for the rich

April 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama pushed the "Buffett rule" in Washington Wednesday -- the notion that millionaires should pay at least the same tax rate as workers.

The rule is named after billionaire Warren Buffett, who says he shouldn't pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. It was the second straight day the president asked for action on the rule.

"At a time when the share of national income flowing to the top 1 percent of people in this country has climbed to levels we haven't seen since the 1920s, these same folks are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years," Obama told a crowd at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building that included business executives. "In fact, one in four millionaires pays a lower tax rate than millions of hardworking middle-class households. And while many millionaires do pay their fair share, some take advantage of loopholes and shelters that let them get away with paying no income taxes whatsoever -- and that's all perfectly legal under the system that we currently have."

Obama said it wasn't a question of redistributing wealth, but of fairness.

"Next week, members of Congress are going to have a chance to vote on what we call the Buffett rule," the president said. "And it's simple: If you make more money -- more than $1 million a year, not if you have $1 million, but if you make more than $1 million a year -- you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do. If on the other hand, you make less than $250,000 a year -- like 98 percent of American families do -- your taxes shouldn't go up."

Obama said, "We just need some of the Republican politicians here in Washington to get on board with where the country is."

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