Lee on Obama’s ‘Buffett Rule’ tax, it is distracting and divisive

Sen. Mike Lee | File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE– On April 10, the The White House released its economic case for the President’s proposal, The Buffett Rule: A Basic Principle of Tax Fairness.  According to its prefatory explanation:

“The Buffett Rule is the basic principle that no household making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay. Warren Buffett has famously stated that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, but as this report documents this situation is not uncommon. This situation is the result of decades of the tax system being tilted in favor of high-income households at the expense of the middle class. Not only is this unfair, it can also be economically inefficient by providing opportunities for tax planning and distorting decisions. The President has proposed the Buffett Rule as a basic rule of tax fairness that should be met in tax reform. To achieve this principle, the President has proposed that no millionaire pay less than 30 percent of their income in taxes.”

Last night, Sen. Mike Lee discussed with Neil Cavuto on Fox News what he said is President Obama’s push to distract Americans with the “Buffett Rule,” legislation that raises taxes on job creators and ignores the need for comprehensive tax reform.

“To what end,” Lee said, “is the right question to be asking because (the Buffett Rule) doesn’t solve our jobs problem. It does not solve our debt problem, our deficit problem. It does not solve the problem associated with increased fuel prices…This does not solve any of the problems that are of most concern to Americans.  

“Americans want jobs, they want to be able to afford their way of life. They don’t need a president coming in and try to divide Americans, to pit one group of Americans against another in a way that won’t solve anything we’re facing right now.  And that is why we see this as a cynical campaign-year effort to distract attention away from the fact that our economy is in trouble, in part because our government is simply too big and expensive.”

“We are talking about four or five billion per year, which is a lot of money, but a tiny drop in the bucket when we look at our overall budget, our annual deficit. This is a tiny amount. It won’t perceptively change anyone’s tax burden, not anyone’s. But what it will do, what it very likely could do, is chill exactly the kind of economic activity we desperately need in this country: investment; people with money putting their capital at risk so as to create jobs.”  

Office of Sen. Mike Lee submitted content for this article.

















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1 Comment

  • Curtis April 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I am skeptical about preferential tax treatment for individuals being necessary for job creating investments except in the case of small business. The preferential treatment has been in place for many years now — how is the job creation going?
    Obama favors tax simplification — the Buffet rule proposal makes the tax system more complicated.

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