Buffett Rule

Election 2012: The Real Reason President Obama Wants the Buffett Rule

A new report from the White House today argues that making America's richest (those making over $1 million) pay a tax rate of at least 30% is more a basic issue of "tax fairness" than a way to generate lots of new revenue to the debt-saddled U.S. government.

The tax proposal is dubbed the Buffett Rule, named for its main backer, billionaire Warren Buffett, who says it is unfair that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. The Buffett Rule ensures millionaires and billionaires do not pay lower percentages of their income than middle-class citizens.

U.S. President Barack Obama, on a campaign fund raising trip, spoke in favor of the Buffett Rule yesterday (Tuesday) in Florida. Democrats are now working on a bill that would incorporate the Buffett Rule into the current tax code, with support from the White House.

The proposal is set for a vote next week in the Senate, and the president has made it a principal element of his plan for deficit reduction.

The White House says the Buffett Rule would make it more difficult for the nation's wealthiest to lower their tax bills and would ultimately make the tax code fairer for everyone.

Critics, however, say it is nothing more than a political ploy in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

The Buffett Rule: Key Campaign Tool in Election 2012

The Buffett Rule is a key theme in President Obama's re-election campaign.

Republicans object to the Buffet Rule as a punitive tax hike on rich that will have little impact on the federal deficit. If the GOP succeeds in blocking passage of the Buffett Rule, the president can paint the Republicans as advocates of an unfair tax policy that benefits only the country's most prosperous citizens.

White House officials acknowledged Monday that the controversial Buffett Rule would yield just $47 billion in additional tax revenue over a decade. That amounts to a paltry 0.6% of the $7 trillion in federal deficits projected for that 10-year period.

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President Obama’s 2013 Budget: Five Things You Should Know

U.S. President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal will give Republicans and Democrats plenty to fight about.

The $3.8 trillion budget proposal, submitted to Congress, essentially follows the blueprint President Obama outlined in his State of the Union address.

That means fewer spending cuts and more taxes than Republicans will like.

So if you thought last summer's wrangling over the raising of the debt ceiling was nasty, watch the rhetorical Armageddon when those battles get re-fought in an election year.

President Obama's 2013 budget sets much of the agenda for the stormy election season ahead. These points will help you make sense of the chaos.

What You Should Know About President Obama's 2013 Budget

  1. Congress Sets the Budget: The fact is Congress, not the president, ultimately controls the federal purse strings. While much hoopla will accompany President Obama's 2013 budget, presidential budget proposals often serve more as a political billboard than a framework for how money is collected and spent by the government.

  2. So President Obama's budget will provide talking points for his 2012 re-election campaign and targets for the Republicans who seek to defeat him.

    "Every budget proposal is partly a serious policy document and partly a political statement,"Stan Collender, a former staffer for both the House and Senate Budget Committees, told msnbc.com.

  1. No Budget, No Problem: Not only can Congress reject the president's budget,

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