Obama’s Buffett Rule: A Minimum Tax for Millionaires
President Obama on Tuesday will continue to beat the drum for the Buffett Rule, his campaign-ready tax proposal aimed at millionaires and billionaires.
A central message of Obama’s re-election campaign is his argument that the very rich should pay more 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? Or should we ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share?” Obama said recently.
Obama’s not alone in pushing the Buffett Rule. Next week, Senate Democrats hope to vote on legislation modeled on Obama’s proposal.
The legislation is not expected to advance very far, if at all. But you’ll be hearing a lot about the Buffett Rule in coming months.
And like most campaign planks, the Buffett Rule doesn’t necessarily make for the best policy, at least from the perspective of many tax experts.
What is the Buffett Rule exactly? The general principle behind the proposal is that millionaires and billionaires like investor Warren Buffett shouldn’t pay a lower percentage of their income in federal taxes than middle-class households.
Obama has even set a threshold for how much they should pay: At least 30% of their income.
The president proposed the rule last year as a guiding principle for tax reform, and he later touted it as a replacement for the Alternative Minimum Tax.