White House touts the Buffett Rule; critics unmollified
President Obama weighed in today on the Buffett Rule, a bill being championed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to make millionaires pay more in taxes. Here’s part of the White House transcript from a news conference:
Q: What’s the likelihood of this Buffett Rule being actually passed this year?
MR. CARNEY: …. I think that we certainly understand that it’s a challenge to persuade Republicans in the Senate, in this case, to listen to their constituents who overwhelmingly support the idea of tax fairness, who overwhelmingly support the simple notion that millionaires and billionaires should pay taxes on their income at at least as high a rate as middle-class Americans.
It may be an uphill battle, but it’s not an impossible battle — not because the President urges them to do so or even because Warren Buffett urges them to do, but because their own constituents are urging them to do so. And I’ve mentioned this before — the fact is every member of the House and a third of the Senate is up for — faces election this fall, and in this case, members of the Senate are going to have to explain to their constituents if they oppose the Buffett Rule why they oppose it — why they think that, after years and years of a situation where the tax code has become increasingly rigged in favor of the wealthiest Americans, we should not impose a little fairness on it.
Buffett Rule critic Josh Barro says it’s overly arbitrary and a political gimmick.