Priebus labels 'Buffett Rule' a 'tiny alteration'
April 15th, 2012
10:09 AM ET
6 years ago

Priebus labels 'Buffett Rule' a 'tiny alteration'

Washington (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday said the proposed "Buffett Rule," backed by President Barack Obama, is a political maneuver meant to distract from his record on the economy.

Priebus said the rule, which would level a minimum tax rate on millionaires, amounts to "one single tiny alteration of the tax code" that will not make a significant dent in the budget.

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"This is Obama's strategy, look over here at this shiny object here, don't look at the big picture, an economy on a brink that I didn't do a thing about and made things worse," Priebus said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Obama spent much of the week making his case for the bill ahead of Monday's vote on the issue in the Senate.

Proponents of the proposal argue the change would constitute a fairer tax code, ensuring higher income earners, like investor Warren Buffett, do not pay a lower percentage of their income in federal taxes than middle-class households.

However, opponents of the law, including Priebus, point to the relatively low revenue expected from the rule. The change would bring in approximately $47 billion over the next decade, with an average of $4.7 billion per year.

"If you added up every dollar of revenue that this little rule would put into place, if you took every dollar over a year, it would add up to paying for 11 hours of the federal government," Priebus told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I mean, come on."

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Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Bootstomper

    Squash Romney!

    April 15, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    "A penny saved is a penny earned"! The middle class has learned to save, and scrimp when shopping to save five cents, twenty cents and etc. and in the end it does save a lot of money. To say that the tax only brings in 4.7 billion and belittle that demonstrates just how OUT OF TOUCH these very rich Congressmen and Senators really are. I'll take the 47 billion over a ten year period, beacuse that how it has to be done if you don't want to take away Medicare that the government has been forcing people to pay for for all these years. The real problem for the rich politicians is that they too are into the millions and they want to keep the money they take from the middle class!

    April 15, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Joan

    It is going to take a lot of steps like the Buffet Rule to help the economy keep improving. The improvement may be slow but at least it is positive and compared to other countries around the world, the US is doing pretty well. Don't forget the economic slowdown is not just an American problem even though it was American policies that started the whole recession. It is a global problem. I shudder to think what it would be like if McCain and Palin had gotten in. Perhaps if the Republicans had not been in such an obstructionist mode for the first three years of this administration, the economy would be in much better shape by now. Of course, now they are trying to look like they are doing something because there is an election coming up but hopefully people will not have amnesia and will remember the filibustres, statements that they hope the President will fail (which means the country too) , the debt ceiling embarassment, the loss of the AAA and the list goes on and on. The US is still deep in debt trying to pay for two unfunded wars, unfunded tax cuts, additional unfunded Medicare and helping the millions of people who suffered because of the recession. I am terrified that a Republican might get back in and take the US back in time. They seem to want to invade countries like Iran and Syria unilaterally, go back to trickle down ecomonics that has not worked for a decade and begin a new Cold War with Russia thanks to remarks by warmonger McCain and Romney. Things are getting better so why stop that now?

    April 15, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. rm

    There will be no measures that deliver less than 4.7 billion a year then?

    April 15, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. Michael Q

    It's just a start on the bigger picture. It's all about 'fairness' and finally putting an end to the GOP's greatest President of all time theory of the 'trickle down" factor (after we get paid and salt away our fortunes under various tax-avoidance schemes). The thought that we are rich and you can be just like us is the biggest distraction but seems to be working in keeping the 1% in control. Wake up people and get these latter-day imperial capitalists out of office, and join the world community.

    April 15, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Hmmmmm -- if it's so tiny, why are major corporations putting many millions into lobbying against it?

    Just saying....................................

    If you owe $10 and you pay $1 per month, is that better than nothing?

    April 15, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. CGUS

    Tiny or not, it is about being fair. Tell that to your rich friends that are paying you off!!!

    April 15, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Coloradan

    What is this foolishness that Republicans keep repeating that Obama made the economy worse. Have they so quickly forgotten that Bush left office after eight years of GOP presidential leadership with the economy losing 700,000 jobs a month? Of course they haven't. We have now had 25 consecutive months of private sector job growth. And that's worse. Reince needs to quit watching Fox News.

    April 15, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. GI Joe

    More RNC PR BS -– belittle it, make it insignificant.

    BUT - if we can cut off medicare and social security for the elderly, those wealthier people can get $150,000 more per year - EACH. That's not tiny.

    April 15, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. CGUS

    there's no defense to this other than "I am helping the rich". Why do the rich always get Washington bailouts at the expense of the middle class?

    April 15, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. rla

    This whole tax code must be scraped, a flat tax with common sense regulations adopted and get rid of all loopholes and deductions. Imagine both parties would have little to fight about and the lobby industry would all have nothing to do- Wow a perfect world!

    April 15, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. GI Joe

    @ria - do you REALLY think the republicans in the House and Senate will vote for that? They would lose all campaign contributions.

    April 15, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. MaryM

    Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman, take out the vowels from Reince name, and what is left. RNC PR B*

    April 15, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. BeverlyNC

    Republicans care nothing about the working People of our nation as they have shown by betraying us over and over with their obstruction of every bill to create jobs, infrastructute, provide us fair healthcare, hold the predatory banks accountable, help those destroyed by the Republican buddy Wall St weasels, and worst of all working to take away our rights – rights as workers, rights as women (yes Reince it IS a War on Women) and even our right to vote with their state voter suppression laws to keep certain groups of the population from being able to vote. Notice they did not use their voter ID laws during their own primaries but just want to use them in November? Shows you it is discrimination and cheating as we all knew from the start.
    If Republicans really cared about the People they would not have obstructed every single piece of legislation for the past 3 years. I feel sure these cowards will filibuster the Buffett Rule (which really should be called the Romney Rule). Republicans have betrayed We the People over and over and over. Time for ALL of them to go come November. None in any local, state, or national seat. They need to go away and find a soul, humanity and their so-called "Christian" values that offer real solutions and keep their oath to serve the People – not the rich and corporations who buy their votes. Republicans and Romney – a formula for a landslide loss to President Obama who is a real leader who works for ALL Americans. I stand with my President.

    April 15, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. maf

    Yet again, the Republican mouthpieces are against ANY legislation that will ease the situation and WILL NOT put any plans forward BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO LEGITIMATE PLANS!!

    Deflect, deny, divide, obfuscate, filibuster, whatever it takes to not allow President Obama success. Pathetic!

    April 15, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. ST

    Priebus can call it little money, peanut money or whatever, BUT 60% of Americans do not see it that way. They support Buffet Rule and understand how important it is, every individual contribute their required share in terms of taxes.

    April 15, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I always get a chuckle when I think of the right wingers that had such fear at a foreign unAmerican sounding name like Barrack Obama then they go pick somebody with a name like "Reince Priebus" in fact every time I type it my spellcheck goes crazy. This is guy is a loser.

    April 15, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. GI Joe

    Vote the teabaggers out in 2012. Let's get back to a reasonable, responsible government (at least it's a start). Those people almost cost us our AAA rating, and almost brought us to our knees AGAIN. W was bad enough. NO MORE BAGGERS.

    April 15, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. GI Joe

    vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I always get a chuckle

    I agree - think maybe it's because RP is white?

    April 15, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. whollis

    What I find fascinating is this constant use of the word "fair" and tax code. When will people wake up that we cannot keep taxing the mega rich and fool ourselves that we've addressed the problem. The middle class is awaiting a HUGE tax increase since so many pay NO taxes, not one dime. Is THAT fair? Isn't the statistic something like the upper 10% of the population pays over 90% of the taxes?

    And certainly Washington would do well to adjust tax rates based upon geography as it does with Medicare reimbursements. Sorry to be brutally honest but if someone how a choice between living in Ames, Iowa and New York City with $150,000, where do you think THEY would opt to live?

    April 15, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. king

    Its amazing how these repubs like to kill big bird and plan parenthood, then harp on the president when he's trying to involve the rich in depecit reductions. Even their God "Reagan", wanted the same thing Obama Obama is pushing for, yet these right winged repubs rather go back to the same push money to the rich, on the back of middle class, to reduce the budget and spur job creation.

    April 15, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Jerubbaal

    That 4.7 billion per year that he scoffs at will go a long way to those most affected by the destruction of the economic policies of his party during the W years. What is more unbelievable is that his party is attempting to sell that exact same policy but only with austerity measures. They love to point to Europe as an example, well the last time I looked Europe is in their 2nd recession in 3 years with civil unrest, economic related suicides and record unemployment. I'll take the path we are on with 25 months of job growth, a recovering stock market, over 4 million jobs created and US companies in a stronger position than they were in 07, per the WSJ, just 3 years after the repub caused near depression. Thank GOD for Prez Obama!!!

    April 15, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Sorensen

    Prairiebus gets it wrong again. It is not the exact amount of money. It is the principle.
    Why does the GOP allow this ignorant fool to talk on their behalf. Good job they do!

    April 15, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Truth001

    The biggest obstruction the Republicans did was the jobs act proposed in September 2011 to bring teachers and so on back to the work force! The Republicans weren't screaming foul when George Bush was adding to the deficit at record speeds.

    April 15, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    @ GI Joe...

    Ditto! LOL

    by the way at the present the president's so called "failed policies" must be working because he is beating Romney with almost every group but WM over 50 and Mitt only has a slight edge there. Of course these numbers could and will change down the line but the GOP knows they have an uphill battle and Karl Rove and Co, will be bringing the dirt for sure.

    April 15, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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