By Rod Lotter
– The Capitol Hill Times -
With the April 17 tax filing deadline approaching, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) will hold a press conference 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Tougo Coffee, located at 1410 18th Ave. During the conference, Murray will declare her support for the “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012.” The act, also known as the Buffett Rule, states that millionaires and billionaires should pay a higher tax rate with less loopholes than they do now.
Currently, anyone making more than $388,350 is charged at a flat rate of 35 percent, but with many loopholes that usually lower the overall tax rate drastically. The Paying A Fair Share Act will ensure that any household making more than $250,000 a year must pay a rate of at least 30 percent with or without loopholes. A middle class family usually pays an average of 20 to 25 percent in taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Buffett rule is called such because billionaire Warren Buffett stated famously last year that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary and felt it was not fair. Buffet then agreed to let Obama use the language in his 2013 tax plan.
The divide on the Buffet Rule is the latest example of the fight between Democrats (who mostly support the rule) and Republicans (who largely oppose the rule.) The divide is also between a middle-class, which feels they have been taxed too much, while the upper-class has only grown richer in the process. It is also one of the first rallying cries of the Occupy movement.
The most common criticism lobbed at Obama’s plan is that it is fanning the flames of so-called class warfare, as some Conservatives – including Republican nominee-to-be Mitt Romney, whose net worth is estimated at least $200 million – like to call it. Obama’s camp claims that the rule is necessary to ensure the ultra-rich are paying their fair share, rather than putting the burden on the middle-class.
A senate vote on the Paying a Fair Share Act is expected sometime before Tax Day, April 17.