Senate Dems Push Buffett Rule Bill

Source: Jonathan Easley / The Hill

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said he’s close to finalizing legislation codifying the “Buffett Rule” that would require individuals who make more than $1 million a year to pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent.

The idea, named for the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is central to President Obama’s 2012 platform to “level the playing field” for workers.

Obama renewed his push for the Buffett Rule in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Debbie Bosanek, Buffett’s secretary, was in the audience as the president argued that her salary should not be taxed at a higher rate than her boss, whose primary source of income is from long-term capital gains. Capital gains are taxed at a rate of 15 percent.

Whitehouse, who is up for reelection in 2012, told reporters in a conference call on Monday that his “Paying a Fair Share Act” would not be a political ploy, but rather an attempt to target loopholes in the tax code that “we can and should close.”

The legislation is expected on Wednesday, and Whitehouse said the bill has two co-sponsors, although he declined to name them.

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