President Barack Obama on Saturday called on Congress to pass the "Buffett rule" tax, which would require those earning more than $1 million per year to pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate on their income.
The Paying a Fair Share Act would establish the so-called “Buffett rule,” which President Barack Obama previously called for in his latest State of the Union address. The rule is named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has lamented the fact that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.
"I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense," Obama said in his weekly address. "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. That’s the America I believe in. And in the next few weeks, Members of Congress will get a chance to show you where they stand."
Republicans have condemned the proposed rule as class warfare. The legislation is unlikely to pass in the GOP-led House of Representatives.
"So every Member of Congress is going to go on record," Obama continued. "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. Either it’s going to add to our deficit, or it’s going to come out of your pocket."
"So tell your Members of Congress to do the right thing. Call them up, write them a letter, pay them a visit, and tell them to stop giving tax breaks to people who don’t need them and start investing in the things that will help our economy grow and put people back to work."
Approximately 94,500 millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than millions of families earning less than $100,000, according to the Congressional Research Service (PDF). The nonpartisan organization also found the Buffett rule was unlikely to affect many small businesses.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by the White House, below: