News

Obama Renews Call for Higher Taxes on Millionaires

President Barack Obama speaks at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, April 10, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, April 10, 2012.
Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday renewed his call for Congress to pass the so-called "Buffett Rule," which would raise income taxes on the wealthiest Americans. The president is highlighting his differences with leading Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in an appeal to middle class voters.

At a university in Florida, Obama said the growing financial divide between rich and middle class Americans needs to be addressed.

"What drags our entire economy down is when the benefits of economic growth and productivity go only to the few, which is what has been happening for over a decade now, and the gap between those at the very, very top and everybody else keeps growing wider and wider and wider and wider," said Obama.

The president again called on the Senate to pass what he calls the "Buffett Rule," named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has said that he pays too little in taxes, while middle class Americans pay too much.

The Democratic-led Senate is expected to vote on the bill in the coming days, but analysts say the legislation likely will not pass the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Republicans say the Buffett Rule would raise taxes on small businesses and discourage job creation. They also say it would do very little to shrink the government's huge budget deficit.

Obama is proposing that people who earn at least $1 million a year should pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.

At Florida Atlantic University, the president also campaigned for other parts of his economic plan, including government projects for education and infrastructure.

"They have not been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another. This is not some socialist dream.  They have been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations because they benefit all of us," he said.

A new Washington Post-ABC News public opinion poll shows that Obama leads likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 51 to 43 percent.  But more than half of the voters surveyed say they disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy.

Obama is stressing middle class issues, to draw a contrast with the wealthy former Massachusetts governor.

Romney's path to the Republican Party nomination became clearer Tuesday, when his main rival, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, announced that he was suspending his campaign because his daughter suffers from a rare illness.

In addition to his speech at the university, the president attended three campaign fund-raising events in Florida.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jose
April 11, 2012 8:52 AM
wah wah wah we are to greedy to pay taxes, the rich should'nt have to pay taxes because they are more important than other people, they love money more than their country, i am taxed on what i earn and they should be taxed on what they earn, guess they don't make enough to live on!

by: Bruce
April 10, 2012 6:10 PM
I can't express how much I hate this fraud, and how disgusted I am with my fellow Americans that are so greedy that they elected this guy in the hopes that he will steal money from those that earned it and buy their votes with it.

by: C. Nerlson
April 10, 2012 2:42 PM
The President's continued harping on the "Buffett Rule" is blatant populist campaign rhetoric and is proof of his lack of a genuine concern with the issues of spending control and deficit reduction. Even if passed, this "rule" would have little effect on the deficit. It is a cheap reelection campaign theme, appealing to class envy and the unhealthy desire to punish those who have been more fortunate or more successful. It is a divisive distraction. The President should be ashamed.

by: Joe Oberman
April 10, 2012 2:31 PM
Greed has overtaken common sense to do the right things, back when businesses paid taxes... Politicians are blind when towns and other states give big businesses property tax breaks for 5 to 10 years just to acquire them. That is morally wrong and should be illegal. Tax breaks for big businesses needs to be outlaw by every State in the Union. This is the only way to break the ‘No Tax Cycle’ of big businesses, which are financially hurting states and towns with their perfected method!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs