Breaking down the Buffett rule

Posted at 8:06 AM, Apr 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-12 13:43:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)-Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott and Delegate Jennifer McClellan held a press conference this morning about The Buffet Rule, and how passing the tax reform plan would affect Virginians.

The tax reform plan, named after billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, aims to keep millionaires and billionaires from paying federal taxes at a lower rate than middle-class Americans.

Scott and McClellan explained that under the current tax system, many millionaires and even billionaires like Buffet pay a smaller percentage of their income taxes than a large number of the middle class.
They say 22,000 households made more than a million dollars in 2009, but paid less than 15 percent in income taxes. The Buffet Rule would require them to pay at least 30%.

Scott says it's not about redistributing wealth, it's about fairness.

"We just think it's fair that everybody pay not only the same percentage, but believe in a progressive income tax, where the more you make, the higher percentage of your income goes to taxes," Scott said. "That's been the tradition in America for centuries."

Just a day earlier, former President, George W. Bush took aim at the proposal, during a speech at an economic tax forum in New York.

"Most small businesses pay tax at the individual income tax level. Therefore, if you raise taxes on the so-called rich you're really raising taxes on the job creators," said Bush.

Speaking in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, President Barack Obama refuted rebuttals by critics who claim the Buffet Rule is about redistributing wealth in the nation.

"This is is not simply an issue of redistributing wealth. That's what you'll hear from those who object to  a tax plan that is fair. This is not just about fairness. This is also about growth, this is also about being able to make the investments we need to succeed, and it's about we as a country being willing to pay for those investments and closing our deficits," said Obama.

If passed, Americans making more than $1 million a year would see their taxes go up. President Obama says its important to point out that the rule only applies to someone making more than $1 million a year, not someone who has that amount in the bank. Congress is expected to consider the legislation on Monday.