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Issue Pulse: Support for the Buffett Rule

Americans Call for Millionaires to Pay Their Share

SOURCE: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Warren Buffett is interviewed in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, Monday, July 18, 2011, following his meeting with President Barack Obama.

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President Barack Obama is calling for a Buffett rule to make sure middle-class American families do not end up paying higher taxes than American millionaires. Seventy-three percent of Americans, including 66 percent of Republicans, agree with this idea.

The wealthy, as well as policymakers, also are expressing their support:

“But if they make a lot of money and they pay a very low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax that would only bring them up to what other people pay.”

Warren Buffett, speaking about his idea that inspired the Buffett rule, 2011

“So be Patriotic. Go out there and get rich. Get so obnoxiously rich that when that tax bill comes , your first thought will be to choke on how big a check you have to write. Your 2nd thought will be “what a great problem to have”, and your 3rd should be a recognition that in paying your taxes you are helping to support millions of Americans that are not as fortunate as you.”

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, in his blog post, 2011

“My question is would you please raise my taxes?”

Former Google brand manager Doug Edwards, speaking to President Obama at a LinkedIn Town Hall, 2011

“There are about 22,000 people in this country who make more than $1 million each year, yet pay less than 15 percent of their income in taxes. The top 400 earners in this country—all of whom make more than $110 million a year—pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than plumbers and teachers and factory workers do.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), 2011

“The president has a winning plan and he’s going all in and I believe Democrats will be behind him.”

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), 2011

While current Republicans are speaking out against President Obama’s plan, they are forgetting that one of their own, President Ronald Reagan, also spoke out against tax loopholes for the wealthy.

“We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. It’s time we stopped it.”

President Ronald Reagan, 1985

“So next time you hear one of those Republicans in Congress accusing you of class warfare, you just tell them I’m with Ronald Reagan. I agree with Ronald Reagan that it’s crazy that a bus driver pays a higher tax rate than some millionaire because of a loophole in the tax code. And by the way, I don’t mind being called a warrior for the working class. You guys need someone working for you.”

President Barack Obama, 2011

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