There’s a lot of discussion right now about the “Buffett Rule.” This is the proposed tax rule that says people who make more than $1 million a year should at least pay as much of their income in taxes “as their secretaries.” The Senate is getting ready to vote on this next week. Note the sharp contrast between Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney on this. And note that the American Majority is solidly behind this!
Reagan Appeals For Buffet Rule
Courtesy of Think Progress, here is Ronald Reagan in 1985 appealing for the same rule
Mitt Romney: Poster Child Showing Need For Buffet Rule
When Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released some of his tax returns we learned that he receives more than $20 million income — even though he isn’t working anywhere — and pays a remarkably low tax rate of around 15%! That includes his Social Security “payroll tax,” by the way. (And has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Islands bank accounts, and a few other things — he has said he will not release tax returns for any earlier years, so we won’t be learning any more about his remarkable financial situation.)
Mitt Romney pays is approx. the same tax rate as a person making about $50K, and much less than a person making more. (See chart at TPM.) The way Romney accumulated the money to bring such a high income was by buying companies, stripping them down, cutting people’s pay and benefits or just laying them off, and pocketing a lot of the money they were making for himself. According to the Christian Science Monitor, this is the story of what happened to the workers in one company when the Romney/Bain machine “came to town”:
The new owner, American Pad & Paper, owned in turn by [Mitt Romney's] Bain Capital, told all 258 union workers they were fired, in a cost-cutting move. Security guards hustled them out of the building. They would be able to reapply for their jobs, at lesser wages and benefits, but not all would be rehired.
Reagan and Obama, Side By Side
Again, courtesy of Think Progress, here is a video of Presidents Reagan and Obama saying the same thing about the need for tax rules that have the wealthiest pay at least as much as their empllyees:
Public Solidly Behind Buffet Rule
The public is solidly behind the Buffett Rule.
52 percent of Americans say that capital gains and dividends should be taxed at the same rate as income earned from work because the current policy increases the federal deficit and is unfair to people who don’t have money to invest, according to the poll. Thirty-six percent approve of the current policy of taxing capital gains at a lower rate because it encourages investment and helps the economy.
Americans also favor increasing taxes on the wealthy in general. In a September, 2011 poll, by 2 to 1 the public wants taxes increased on the wealthy and corporations. Other polls show similar results. Politico: Poll: Tax the rich, corporations,
Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for President Barack Obama’s proposed jobs plan by a margin of two-to-one, a new Gallup poll Wednesday says.
Sixty-six percent of respondents said that they backed increasing income taxes on individuals earning over $200,000 and families earning at least $250,000, while only 32 percent were opposed.
Small Businesses are solidly behind the Buffet Rule: Small Business Group Urge Senate to Pass Buffet Rule,
Today, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), Business for Shared Prosperity (BSP) and Main Street Alliance (MSA) called on the Senate to legislate a “Buffett Rule” by passing the Paying a Fair Share Act (S. 2230), assuring that households with incomes above $1 million don’t pay lower tax rates than middle-income taxpayers.
In a letter delivered to Senators, nine business organizations disputed claims that a Buffett Rule would negatively affect small businesses owners, the vast majority of whom are middle-class Americans with incomes under the rule’s $1 million threshold. Only 1 percent of the 34 million households reporting any business income on their tax returns earn more than $1 million annually, according to data from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.