Priebus labels 'Buffett Rule' a 'tiny alteration'
April 15th, 2012
10:09 AM ET
10 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. Mike in Texas

    The Republican plan is to lower taxes even more. They say, we will remove tax loopholes thus it is revenue neutral. Here is the rub on that. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 did eliminate deductions and loopholes but as time went on deductions crept back in. The same would happen with the Ryan plan or Romney plan or whatever plan the Republicans decide on. It is a win win for the wealthy. They get a big tax cut now while the less fortunate are told "BOHICA" and suffer more. Then as time goes on, those deductions and loopholes creep back in giving more tax breaks to the wealthy. Most likely these deductions would be attached as a rider to an unrelated bill.

    April 15, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    How do we cover from two wars, Bush tax cut ignoring a penny Mr. Caterpillar?

    April 15, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. GI Joe

    It has only become class warfare since the poor have started fighting back.

    April 15, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Mike in Texas

    The tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 did not create jobs. What created jobs were the housing and credit market. People bought houses and bought things for the house thus creating jobs. To pay for these things they used credit cards. When the housing market boomed people did cash out refi's or took out Equity lines of credit on the equity of there home. They took this money and bought more things. So basically the economy was thriving because of borrowing. People weren't spending disposable income, they were spending borrowed money.

    Fast forward to today. Less credit card spending, no more cash out refi's and no more ELOC's. The failure of the tax cuts was masked by the housing and credit boom. This time around the Republicans don't have any boom to mask another failed tax cut for the rich.

    For those who think it will work, ask yourself this? If the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 were responsible for creating jobs the past decade why did the economy tank so much. Taxes weren't raised. The economy tanked because of lax regulations on the mortgage industry and mortgage back securities and the repealing of Glass Stegal among other things.

    April 15, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Larry L

    @Mike in Texas

    Mike – great comments! Unfortunately Republicans tend to create their own reality. When a party is controlled by the uber-rich yet the voting base is the under-educated, the platform will be about deception and emotion rather than logic.

    April 15, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. paul

    Republicans have always and will continue to fight for the top 5% of income earners. They can "paint"it anyway they want but their actions speak louder than words. They would not think of helping the middle class but asking the millionaires to pay their fair share and you would think the sky is falling. If you make more than a million a year then vote Republican and if you make less then vote Democrats.

    April 15, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    The real propaganda is never presented on TV by the republicans - they sneak it into mailboxes of the uneducated and the "teavangicals" to poison their minds. That's the ONLY way they can get their votes. Lies and hate spread without the general public being able to oppose it or say it is a lie.

    April 15, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Name

    Why do the republicans always say the economy is at the brink and blame it on the president? While the president always says we're going to do this were tryin to do that let's try something new to move us forward. But the repugs always want I go back to what got us in this mess in the first place

    April 15, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. AKsteve

    GOP speak – tell me more tax bad. I get no job. Obama socialist. He hate job creators. That what they tell me. Obama wants my gun. I scared. Don't know what to do. Tell me GOP what do. I am too dum to think for me.

    April 15, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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