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Ear to the Ground

Republicans Block the Buffett Rule

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Posted on Apr 16, 2012
scott_bl8ke (CC-BY)

Senate Republicans shot down a move to open debate on a rule supported by President Obama, congressional Democrats and the billionaire investor for whom it’s named that would force the wealthiest Americans to pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent.

Predictably, Republicans doubled down on their insistence that tax cuts—not increases—are needed to jump-start an economy still lagging from recession, a move that promises a lengthy “debate” on tax issues as the presidential campaign moves into high gear.

Democrats responded by citing a recent Gallup poll that showed 60 percent of Americans supported the proposal. —ARK

The New York Times:

[T]he fierce debate preceding the 51-45 vote — the Democrats were nine votes short of the 60 they needed — set off a week of political wrangling over taxes that both parties insist they are already winning.

Senate Democrats intend to return repeatedly to the legislation, named after the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has complained that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. On Thursday, House Republicans will counter with a proposed tax cut for businesses that they say would spur job creation but would cost the Treasury almost exactly what the Democrats’ tax increase would raise.

Republicans say they like that contrast, and their language ahead of the procedural vote on a motion just to take up the Buffett rule was harsh and aimed squarely at Mr. Obama, who first proposed a 30-percent tax rate floor for anyone earning at least $1 million a year last September. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader, went to the Senate floor and all but called Mr. Obama a liar.

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who'syourdebs's avatar

By who'syourdebs, April 18, 2012 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

When Eisenhower was decrying the burgeoning military-industrial complex in his farewell address, the national income tax rate for the then “one percent” was more than 91%. The country was doing awfully well, too. Republicans cherry-pick history, then they distort it. Great. The mainstream media and the people who own these monstrously huge corporations are being criminally negligent in their quest for the almighty dollar. Politicians have always been bought off in America; journalists not so much. Pigs will be pigs, but a watchdog that’s gone over to the other side is no watchdog at all. If I had the dough, I’d have that “91% tax rate prosperity” item plastered all over those electronic billboards in Time Square. You sure won’t find it in Texas history books. They probably don’t teach it at Oral Roberts University either. FDR said: “Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.”

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By diamond, April 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Is anyone who has watched anything the Republicans have done for generations really surprised at this? They are for the rich, they are the rich and many of them have signed a pledge that they will never vote to increase taxes on the rich - in other words on themselves. And, of course, they have tax payer funded health care which they have no intention of allowing taxpayers to have. They are scum.

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By bigchin, April 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was never going to pass.

It is cover for the fact that Obama has not and will not campaign on a promise to end the Obama/Bush tax cuts… which would increase the taxes of the wealthy even more than this never-had-a-chance legislation.

Why won’t Obama promise to let the Obama/Bush tax cuts expire?

Who are you going to vote for?

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, April 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

This law was quite meaningless anyway, it does nothing to challenge the actual system in place now ravaging the globe. If Obama had balls he would craft a new New Deal suitable for the 21st century.

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By Stevenkuch, April 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

The Republicans are right! We do need tax cuts at this time to get our economy
going. That is why we must NOT ONLY increase the taxes on the wealthy but cut
taxes on the poor and middle class so that it is a net decrease in taxes!

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By Miko, April 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a single person on
Earth say that tax increases are the way to get out
of a recession.  It takes a real instinctive need to
counter anything said by a Republican to overwhelm
the logical part of the brain so severely.

Granted, the number of people affected by the tax is
so insignificant that the Republicans’ counter-claim
that this would seriously hurt the economy is also
silly.  But it’s good to see that we can still have
debates based on both sides saying utterly silly
things about issues that are basically insignificant
anyway.

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By gerard, April 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

The REAL SHOCK is that it’s not a shock!  The REAL shock is that it is even necessary to legislate in order to FORCE people who can, to do what they know they should, of their own free will, in order to relieve desperate needs on other people whose desperation is due to the negligence of those who can and should, but don’t.  If you catch my drift.

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By Jeff N., April 16, 2012 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Big shocker..  It’s great how legislation is used as political theater more than anything else these days.

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