Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., once again criticized President Obama’s so-called Buffett Rule and accused the administration of ignoring larger economic problems
The White House has been pushing the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 for the past week as the Senate considers the measure. Named after billionaire William Buffett, it would require individuals earning $1 million or more annually pay at least 30 percent in taxes.
Tax regulators say if the law passed it would also end preferential treatment for capital gains income.
McConnell says the Obama administration is more interested in “taking from some and giving to others” than job creation or lowering gas prices.
“This entire debate has been very illuminating for a lot of folks. It’s revealed a lot about this president. 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 he is in leading,” he says.
In defense of the idea, Mr. Obama has highlighted a speech made by former President Ronald Reagan, which criticized loopholes in the tax code. Embracing the GOP icon, however, has not persuaded Senate Republicans, who have promised to filibuster the measure despite public opinion favoring the plan.
A recent Gallup poll found around 60 percent of Americans support the Buffet Rule. And the president’s re-election campaign released a tax rate calculator that compares average rates to Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, who paid only 13.9 percent rate on his over $20 million income.
But critics have said the president’s plan would only dent the deficit and that the Obama administration should skip the idea and go for more important tax reforms, such as simplifying the code.
“We’ve got serious problems to address and this president is not behaving seriously,” says McConnell. “There’s a need, and growing desire on both sides to do something. The president needs to step up and provide the serious leadership he promised, and that Americans have every right to expect.”