At long last, the “Buffett Rule” is finally ready to be introduced.
Oh, but wait — it’s a Republican version.
Senator John Thune and Congressman Steve Scalise are introduced their own version of the “Buffett Rule” in the chambers, replacing President Barack Obama’s tentative proposal to tax capital gains and investment income at a higher rate to ensure millionaires pay as large of a portion of their annual income in taxes as the middle class does. In the Thune/Scalise version of the “Buffett Rule,” the IRS would add an extra box to the yearly tax form. If you feel you don’t pay enough in taxes, you can check the box to pay more.
Thune justified his proposal, saying, “If individuals like Warren Buffett or President Obama are inclined to donate their own personal money toward paying down the federal government’s debt, they ought to have that right to do so voluntarily.”
According to Congressional Republicans, Obama’s “Buffett Rule” is unnecessary overkill. But the Congressional Research Service says that might not be the case. Based on their research, about one in four millionaires actually do pay less in taxes proportionally than the middle class does. As Politico reports, “Investment income that is taxed at a preferred rate and the reduced impact of payroll taxes on higher incomes means that 94,500 millionaires pay federal taxes at an effective lower rate than 10.4 million “moderate-income taxpayers” earning less than $100,000 a year. That means about one in four millionaires pay lower federal income tax rates than 10 percent of middle-class households.”
Wonder how many of them would voluntarily check the box?
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