It didn’t take long for the Republican Party to come out swinging against President Barack Obama’s new plan to tax capital gains and other investment income at a higher tax rate for those who earn more than $1 million a year, otherwise known as the “Buffett Rule.”
The presidential contenders were sure to get their shots in early. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann declared the Buffett Rule, “warfare on the millions of small businesses, on charities and on middle class America with increased tax burdens.” Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said it would have a “crushing impact on economic growth,” while former Ambassador Jon Huntsman stated, “President Obama continues to demonstrate that he has no new ideas on how to create American jobs.” And Texas Governor Rick Perry called it a “bait and switch,” luring voters into massive spending with the promise of temporary tax cuts.
And it wasn’t just presidential candidates panning the idea. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a “punt” saying, “A massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth — or even meaningful deficit reduction.” Speaker of the House John Boehner subtly called it class warfare, stating “Pitting one group of Americans against another is not leadership.”
Republican rep Dennis Ross, in honor of “Talk Like A Pirate Day,” gave out the following statement: “Watch ye purses & bury yr loot, the taxman cometh.” Ross tweeted, joking that Obama might have misunderstood that Sept. 19 is “TALK like a pirate day…not ACT like one.”
But perhaps the best reaction was from Republican Congressman Ron Flemming of Louisiana, who complained about how hard it is for him already as a small business owner because “by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over.”
And that’s probably before his $100,000+ congressional salary.
So who does like the Buffett Rule? Senate Democrat Charles Schumer, who says he wants it drafted and voted on right away.