The nation needs the so-called Buffett Rule and can’t afford to keep giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans “who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them,” President Barack Obama said in his weekly address.
“As many Americans rush to file their taxes this weekend, it’s worth pointing out that we’ve got a tax system that doesn’t always uphold the principle of everyone doing their part,” Obama said.
His address caps a week-long effort by the administration in promoting the proposal that would require millionaires to pay a minimum of 30 percent of their income in taxes. The Senate is expected to bring the proposal up for a vote next week, and Obama implored “some Republican politicians to get on board with where the country is.”
“It’s pretty sensible,” he said, adding that “most Americans support this idea.”
A Gallup poll released Friday found 60 percent of adult Americans are in favor of the proposal, including 74 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents. Republicans oppose it, though only by 54 percent.
“This is not just about fairness,” Obama said. “This is also about growth. It’s about being able to make the investments we need to strengthen our economy and create jobs. And it’s about whether we as a country are willing to pay for those investments.”
Referring to the Bush tax cuts, which Obama has railed against, he said: “We were told these tax cuts would lead to faster job growth. Instead, we got the slowest job growth in half a century, and the typical American family actually saw its income fall.”
By contrast, he added, “When the most well-off Americans were asked to pay a little more in the 1990s, we were warned that it would kill jobs. Instead, tens of millions of jobs followed.”
“We’ve tried this trickle-down experiment before. It doesn’t work,” he said.