Obama’s ‘Buffett Rule' Blocked by Republicans in Vote
America's wealthiest would have paid flat, ‘fairer’ share of taxes on earned income
Senate Republicans on Monday assured millionaires and billionaires that they could keep their pocket change.
All but one GOP lawmaker stood with the party to block the “Buffett Rule” from reaching the required 60 votes for full consideration. The rule, named for one of its supporters, billionaire Warren Buffet, imposes a minimum tax rate on those making more than $1 million per year.
The initiative was a key component of President Barack Obama’s and the Democrats election year platform. Obama didn’t waste any time reacting to news of the vote, and vowed to continue pushing Congress to “take steps to…restore economic security for the middle class.”
“The Buffett Rule is common sense. At a time when we have significant deficits to close and serious investments to make to strengthen our economy, we simply cannot afford to keep spending money on tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and didn’t ask for,” Obama said in a statement.
Before Monday’s vote, Republicans had a slew of criticism for the Buffett Rule, which enjoys popularity among independent and GOP voters, according to recent polls.
A Gallup poll last week showed 60 percent of Americans supported the Buffett Rule. But that didn’t faze Senate Republican leadership from attacking Democrats and the president.
From a New York Times report:
“By wasting so much time on this political gimmick that even Democrats admit won’t solve our larger problems, it’s shown the president is more interested in misleading people than (Obama) is in leading,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader.
With taxes due tomorrow, the Democrats’ hope voters remember how the GOP protects “the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class,” as the White House has characterized it.
Political analysts say it may not matter this fall, if the jobs picture doesn’t speed up in the next few months.