President Obama told a crowd of students and supporters that Congress should vote to approve his plan to ensure that millionaires don’t pay lower tax rates than the middle class.
Speaking at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., on Tuesday, Obama discussed the so-called “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure that millionaires and billionaires pay a minimum tax rate. Congress is expected to take up legislation in the coming weeks to enact the Buffett Rule, although it is not expected to pass.
“You might have heard of this, but Warren Buffett is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary,” said Obama. “Now, that’s wrong. That’s not fair. And so we've got to choose which direction we want this country to go in. Do we want to keep giving those tax breaks to folks like me who don’t need them, or give them to Warren Buffet—he definitely doesn’t need them—or Bill Gates. He's already said, ‘I don’t need them.’ Or do we want to keep investing in those things that keep our economy growing and keep us secure? That’s the choice.”
Obama said it was time for members of Congress to tell voters where they stand.
“In the next few weeks, we’re going to vote on something called the Buffett Rule—very simple: If you make more than $1 million a year—now, I’m not saying you have a million dollars—right? I’m not saying you saved up all your money and you made smart investments and now you’ve got your nest egg and you’re preparing for retirement. I’m saying, you’re bringing in a million bucks or more a year. Then, what the rule says is you should pay the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do. You shouldn’t get special tax breaks. You shouldn’t be able to get special loopholes. And if we do that, then it makes it affordable for us to be able to say for those people who make under $250,000 a year—like 98 percent of American families do —then your taxes don’t go up. And we can still make those investments in things like student loans and college and science and infrastructure and all the things that make this country great.”
He urged his audience to call and email their members of Congress, and even tweet them, to push for the Buffett Rule. “Tell them don’t give tax breaks to folks like me who don’t need them,” said Obama. “Tell them to start investing in the things that will help the economy grow. Tell them if we want to bring down our deficit sensibly, then we’ve got to do it in a balanced way that’s fair for everybody. Remind them who they work for. Tell them to do the right thing.”
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