President Barack Obama renewed his call Saturday for passage of the so-called Buffett rule, calling it “just common sense,” not “class warfare.”
The Buffett rule, named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, entered the lexicon last year after Buffett penned an op-ed in the New York Times encouraging Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy. Under the proposed plan, scheduled for a Senate vote April 16, those making more than $1 million annually would pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.
“When it comes to paying down the deficit and investing in our future, should we ask middle class Americans to pay even more at a time when their budgets are already stretched to the breaking point?” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. “Or should we ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share?”
Encouraging listeners to tell their members of Congress to “stop giving tax breaks to people who don’t need them,” Obama returned to Buffett’s secretary, long held up as paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.
“Some people call this class warfare. But I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense,” Obama said. “We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead – not just a few.”
He continued, “In America, our story has never been about what we can do by ourselves – it’s about what we can do together. It’s about believing in our future and the future of this country.