Obama talks taxes, Republicans energy in weekly addresses
President Barack Obama and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
April 14th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama talks taxes, Republicans energy in weekly addresses

(CNN) – While the federal income tax deadline looms, President Barack Obama used his weekly address to argue for the so-called Buffett Rule, a provision that millionaires and billionaires should pay a tax rate no less than that paid by middle-income families.

"It's wrong that middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires," Obama said.

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The proposal, named for billionaire Warren Buffett who has urged Congress to ask more of the wealthy, enjoys high support in polls, and the president said, "We just need some Republican politicians to get on board with where the country is."

"So we've tried this trickle-down experiment before," Obama continued, critical of the Bush-era tax cuts and previous tax policy. "It doesn't work. And middle class families have seen too much of their security erode over the past few decades for us to tell them they're going to have to do more because the wealthiest Americans are going to do less."

The president has advanced a rate of 30% for those making over $1 million. That is above the effective rate of 20.5% he paid, according to tax documents the White House released Friday, and is nearly double the 15.2% GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney estimated he would pay. Romney released an estimate of his 2011 income and tax liability in January, and on Friday, filed an extension request.

House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Fred Upton, R-Mich., delivered the GOP response on a regular theme for the Republicans' weekly addresses this year: criticism of Obama's energy policy.

"In many ways this administration's policies are moving us backwards, and making gas prices even worse," he said.

He and congressional Republicans accuse Senate Democrats and President Obama of blocking progress on energy policy. Upton said his committee will consider two bills regarding energy regulation and exploration this week.

"Today we're knocking at the door of a brighter energy future; one that promises abundant, secure, and cheaper North American supplies, as long as Washington doesn't create artificial obstacles," he said. "That is what Republicans are working toward, and we invite the president to join us. If he won't lead, we will."

Obama spends the weekend in Colombia at a summit of North and South American leaders, and next week hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and BCS National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

Congress returns Monday from a two week recess, and in his address, Obama said the body would consider Buffett Rule legislation, though it is not expected to survive.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Truth001

    Get'em Prez!

    April 14, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  2. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    Upton is a typical lying GOBP cult weasel. He's not lookng out for average Americans, that's for sure. He can't point to a single policy of the President's that has "made gas prices worse." What has made gas prices worse is the GOBP cult's refusal to regulate oil traders and to tone down the warmongering rhetoric in the Middle East that drives up prices. Own it, Upton! Your cult bears far more responsibility for higher gas prices than anyone else.

    April 14, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  3. cisco4

    No one wants to pay the USA government bills to fight the Wars etc...Ask anyone.. big oil.. No way they say..Then when ?.. And the wage earner well they are tied and chained to automatic tax deducts all the while the slick corporations.. people of course pay nothing like GE one year ... paid absolutely nothing in taxes.. So workers you feel someone is not for you? The republican party likes people.. that is corporations which Romney says are people...Get it?

    April 14, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    It appears Obama has a One Track mind when it comes to Taxes. Tax the Job Providers more and everything will come out fine. If that works with enough people he will get re-elected. But there will be more unemployment. The jobs report was worse this week. Trickle Down Economics. That is the only kind there is. Some people tried to take a shortcut to the top and it failed. Just ask the Auto Workers. The Unions got them bookos of wages until Bankruptsy set in. It takes time for sucess to set in. Taxing the rich more is a bad idea.

    April 14, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  5. Dave

    He should be talking about out of control spending and debt ($4 trillion more in 3 1/2 years). I wonder how he will explain Solyndra and the keystone pipeline?

    April 14, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    My buddy, just raise taxes on who make more than 250k or more. Let rich pay their share. God bless Obama and Buffett.

    April 14, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Only thing we rescue is fire all GOP idiots inclusive Fred Upton like idiots in next November election. For this all need to vote rethigliacs out of all congress and senate.

    April 14, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  8. Dvet

    They should pay their fair share.

    April 14, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  9. Mike in WA

    Doesn't Warren Buffett owe a bunch of back taxes? No wonder he thinks he doesn't pay enough in taxes.

    April 14, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. marty

    Mr. Fred Upton and his Republican colleagues love to say things like, "If he (President Obama) won't lead, we will". Does he mean lead as in the Bush administration, which has been a financial and job creating disaster? Does he mean lead, as in Enron, Valerie Plame, and a totally unnecessary war based on lies? The poor Republicans have signed a Grover Norquist pledge , not to raise taxes, which apparently takes precedence to their solemn Oath of Office and absolutely limits their ability to make adult decisions in matters of government. The Republicans are the (fill in the blank) who sit on the lap of their ventriloquist, Grover Norquist.

    April 14, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. Larry L

    We're drilling more now than during the Bush administration and prices are high – because oil is a world commodity and demand is high. That's one of the reasons the President is encouraging America to develop alternative enery sources.

    Ronald Reagan believed in a progressive income tax rate where millionaires pay a higheer rate than the working class. Was he a socialist?

    April 14, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Sorensen

    Fred Upton really looks like a republican. Isn't funny how you can almost always spot them from a distance?
    Cold, mean, angry, in panic, etc. They all somehow know, that they are going to lose the election, and that their tired,
    irrelevant and corny old party is sinking every day. Particularly among women and the younger generation.
    Just have another look at Mitch McConnell, and you have the answer.

    April 14, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |