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.

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Comment Sorting
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!

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