The Buffett Rule

Introduced: April 17 2012

What do you think of proposed legislation to impose a 30% tax rate on people who make more than $1 million a year? (Nicknamed “the Buffett Rule because Warren Buffet has said wealthy people pay too little tax  -- and he pays at a lower rate than his secretary.) On Monday, April 16, the Senate vote fell short of 60 votes needed to pass legislation imposing a 30% tax rate on people who make more than $1 million a year. A recent CNN poll found that 7 in 10 Americans favor the Buffett Rule. The proposal is popular among Democrats and independents, but a small majority of Republicans also support it. If you’re for this legislation, why? If not, why not? And what tax reform idea do you like better?


Note From IWD: "Weigh-Ins" are no longer an active feature on IWD. Our members expressed a preference for longer dialogues. The content of the previous Weigh-Ins remains on the site for your enjoyment and enlightenment. 

Member Responses

352: This country was built on freedom, not on class warfare. One of the principal freedoms is the freedom to prosper. A very small number of people live well because of prior generations' prosperity, but along with paying what some consider too little tax, these folks buy products and services from companies who employ people to deliver the goods. They often have multiple homes and pay property taxes on them, employ people to care for the properties and buy things and eat in local restaurants when there so they sustain jobs and pay sales taxes. It occurs to me that I am preaching to the choir here. I hope the women reading this continue to prosper and prosper others through their business and personal exchange of dollars.


069: I'm happy for Mr. Buffett.  He's a mega-millionare.  I suspect that most people making right around a million dollars a year feel they aren't even close to being in the same financial league.  Personally, I see no evidence the government spends the tax money it collects wisely no matter what percentage they get.  This may be a cynical view, but I think the more money the government gets the more they squander.  Do you suppose that upping the percentage rate for the millionaires will result in a tax reduction for the rest of us, not so rich Americans?  I doubt it!


193: The Buffett Rule is one of those catchy phrases that people grab on to. After Mitt Romney said that the taxes raised by the Buffett Rule would pay for 11 hours of government, a lot of people did the math, using a variety of scenarios and whatever the ultimate figure, it wouldn’t make even a dent in the deficit.


244: I was particularly struck by a comment the President made that a majority of millionaires supports the Buffett Rule, because I personally have not talked to single person in that category who seems to like the idea. So I did a little checking and I found, like almost any other issue, there is some survey, somewhere, to support the point of view you want to take. The Washington Post has a “Fact-Checker” feature that addressed the topic of how the President knows what the millionaires think. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/does-a-majority-of-millionaires-really-support-the-buffett-rule/2012/04/19/gIQAbigVUT_blog.html%20 There is an important distinction to be made between people who have a “net worth” of $1 million or more and people whose income is $1 million or more. The proposed increased tax rate would only apply to incomes. People who make most of their money in capital gains and dividends are taxed at a lower percentage than ordinary income. The tax code was created like that to encourage people to invest.


015: No matter what people think of the proposed legislation – it's not going to happen, so what’s the next big idea for Republicans and Democrats to fight about?


157: The tax code is obviously very complex and we all know that whatever you tax more, people are going to be less likely to do. So one of the basic questions is: Do we want people to spend their money more or invest their money more? It seems to me that if we are going to help the economic recovery, we would want to encourage spending, so people will consume more and companies will hire more employees, and those employees will use their income to buy more, and so we start an upward cycle for the economy. So I'm for less income tax and more tax on investment…at least for now.