President Barack Obama urged Congress to pass the so-called Buffett Rule while speaking in Florida Tuesday – despite the bill’s poor chances of becoming law.
Officially called the “Paying a Fair Share Act,” the bill gets its nickname from billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has said he pays a lower effective tax rate – just over 17 percent – than his secretary. If passed, the bill would mandate a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for taxpayers with annual incomes over $1 million.
The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote on the bill Monday — tax day — though it’s unlikely that it will pass.
Still, in an election year, championing the Buffett Rule has political benefits for President Obama.
“There’s little doubt that the Democrats and the president see great merit in putting the Buffett Rule on the table and exploiting the fact that wealthy people pay far less in taxes as a percentage than the middle class, or even people who are upper-middle class,” explained Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times and a contributor to WNYC.
“It may be an uphill battle, but it’s not an impossible battle,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney while speaking to press onboard Air Force One en route to Florida.