Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s “Buffett Rule” bill got a big boost today as President Obama, long a fan of the proposal, focused his weekly address on the legislation that would prevent millionaires from shielding their earnings from income taxes.
“Now, some people call this class warfare,” Obama said. “But I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense. We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it. 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.
“So every Member of Congress is going to go on record. And if they vote to keep giving tax breaks to people like me – tax breaks our country can’t afford – then they’re going to have to explain to you where that money comes from.”
Here’s the full transcript of his speech, and here’s the video:
The Senate is slated to vote on, or at least talk about, the Buffett Rule on April 16, symbolically the day before income tax filings are due. Sen. Jack Reed, and 12 others, have signed onto the bill.
Also called the Paying your Fair Share Act, Whitehouse’s office said it will: “ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate. It would apply only to taxpayers with income over $1 million – including capital gains and dividends. Taxpayers earning over $2 million would be subject to a 30% minimum federal tax rate. The tax would be phased in for incomes between $1 million and $2 million, with those taxpayers paying a portion of the extra tax required to get them to a 30% effective tax rate,” according to a recent release from Senator Whitehouse’s office.
Here’s what Whitehouse told me about it when we spoke at a recent community supper in East Greenwich:
Whitehouse will be hosting a roundtable discussion on the Buffett Rule in Cranston on Tuesday. He’ll be joined by “CCAP Executive Director Joanne McGunagle and Rhode Islanders from Cranston, Providence, and Woonsocket,” according to a release. “at the Comprehensive Community Action Program’s (CCAP) headquarters in Cranston.”