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Obama’s Saturday address: C’mon, pass the Buffett Rule already!

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By Doug Powers  •  March 31, 2012 11:06 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The “Buffett Rule” was a central theme in President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal that the House recently voted on, and, well, you know how that went.

But Obama isn’t giving up easily in the quest for a return to what made America great: Higher taxes:

“We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it,” Obama said in his Saturday radio and Internet address. “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.”

Obama calls the plan the “Buffett Rule” for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained that rich people like him pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers. Many wealthy taxpayers earn investment income, which is taxed at 15%. Obama has proposed that people earning at least $1 million annually should pay at least 30% of their income in taxes.

In his remarks today, the president encouraged listeners to pressure their members of Congress “to stop giving tax breaks to people who don’t need them.”

Does “no tax breaks to people who don’t need them” include buyers of $41,000 Volts, which taxpayers subsidize to the tune of $7,500 per car for owners with average incomes of $170,000? Or to millionaires who buy $95,000 Fisker Karmas and get the same taxpayer subsidy?

The “Buffett Rule” would raise $47 billion in revenue in the next decade, and that’s assuming the people being taxed at greater rates wouldn’t find escape hatches. Compare that to about $7 trillion in projected federal deficits over the same time period. Like many often say, we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

It took me a while to figure out what was with the additional sense of urgency in Obama’s renewed Buffett Rule push, and then I remembered that there are three more mega-millionaires in the country than there were just yesterday. Buffett Rule — we can’t wait:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Campaign finance, Politicians

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