Just days after his healthcare reforms were halted in Congress, President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass his "Buffett Rule," his plan to increase taxes on millionaires. Obama originally proposed his plan last September, but he faced great opposition from House Republicans. His plan still stands little hope of passing, but the Obama administration plans for his proposal to show him as a champion of economic fairness in light of the upcoming April tax filing deadline and as the presidential elections near. The Republicans have already denounced the plan as a political stunt (Kuhnhenn). .
Under the "Buffett Rule," people earning at least $1 million annually, whether through salary or investments, would be required to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. Currently, many of these wealthy Americans are only paying 15 percent of their income in taxes. Obama also wants to end tax cuts for taxpayers earning more than $250,000. These tax breaks began during President George W. Bush's first term, but they expire this year (Kuhnhenn).
"We don't envy success in this country. We aspire to it," said Obama during his 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" (Kuhnhenn). .
Obama also encouraged listeners to influence Congress "to stop giving tax breaks to people who don't need them" (Kuhnhenn).
Additionally, the "Buffett Rule" draws attention to another presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, who recently released last year's tax records showing that he only paid 15.4 percent on his income. The top taxpayers paid 35 percent (Kuhnhenn). .
"Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years," said Obama. "Warren Buffett is paying a lower rate than his secretary. Meanwhile, over the last 30 years, the tax rates for middle-class families have barely budged" (Kuhnhenn).