The Obameter

Enact the Buffett rule

"We need to have a tax code where secretaries aren't paying a (higher) tax rate than their bosses. "


Proposal is mentioned in Obama's 2014 budget

In his reelection campaign, President Barack Obama promised to address what he said was a glaring inequality in the tax code -- the fact that some rich people pay lower tax rates than their employees.

Named "the Buffett rule" after the billionaire Warren Buffett, the White House website explains the goal as "no household making more than $1 million each year should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than a middle class family pays.” During the campaign, Buffett noted in an New York Times op-ed that he paid "only 17.4 percent of (his) taxable income,” a "lower percentage than” any of his 20 employees.

Obama took the first steps on this promise with his 2014 budget proposal, which was introduced April 10, 2013.

The budget says on page 36 that Obama is seeking "a specific proposal to comply with the Buffett Rule, requiring that wealthy millionaires pay no less than 30 percent of income—after charitable contributions—in taxes (that) will prevent high-income households from using tax preferences, including low tax rates on capital gains and dividends, to reduce their total tax bills to less than what many middle class  families pay.”

Although, there is no guarantee that this proposal will be integrated into the congressional budget -- particularly in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives -- this is a start for the proposal and enough for us to move the meter to In the Works.


White House.  The Buffett Rule.  Date unknown.

Warren Buffett. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich. August 14, 2011.

Office of Budget and Management.  Fiscal Year 2104: Budget of the US Government. April 10, 2013