And yet another call to our elected leaders to do what’s right for the huge majority of Americans and not just the richest among us. President Obama once again called on Congress to pass the Buffett rule, a law that would make our tax system more fairer requiring the richest 2% of Americans – those making over $1 million in yearly income – to pay a more appropriate percentage of their income in taxes.
Over the last decade, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars on what was supposed to be a temporary tax cut for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Now we’re scheduled to spend almost a trillion more. Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years. Warren Buffett is paying a lower rate than his secretary. Meanwhile, over the last 30 years, the tax rates for middle class families have barely budged.
That’s not fair. It doesn’t make any sense. Do we want to keep giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans like me, or Warren Buffett, or Bill Gates – people who don’t need them and never asked for them? Or do we want to keep investing in things that will grow our economy and keep us secure? Because we can’t afford to do both.
Now, some people call this class warfare. But I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense. We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead – not just a few.