President Barack Obama offered today to call the "Buffett Rule" the "Reagan Rule," citing President Ronald Reagan’s push to close tax loopholes for millionaires.
“If it’ll help convince folks in Congress to make the right choice, we can call it the Reagan Rule instead of the Buffett Rule,” Obama said at a White House event flanked by millionaires — and their secretaries — supportive of a 30 percent minimum tax on income of more than $1 million.
“I’m not the first president to call for this idea that everybody’s got to do their fair share,” Obama said. “Some years ago, one of my predecessors traveled across the country pushing for the same concept. He gave a speech where he talked about a letter he had received from a wealthy executive who paid lower tax rates than his secretary and wanted to come to Washington and tell Congress why that was wrong.”
Obama continued, “That wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior was Ronald Reagan. He thought that in America, the wealthiest should pay their fair share, and he said so. I know that position might disqualify him from Republican primaries these days.”
Obama and his campaign have been embracing Reagan as a contrast to the modern GOP, noting Reagan’s willingness to cut deals with Democrats that raised taxes, and they’ve pointed to a clip of Reagan decrying why a millionaire should pay less in taxes than a bus driver.
Obama also pitted the Buffett Rule today against higher costs for seniors under Medicare and higher interest rates for student loans.
“It’s a lot more specific than anything the other side has proposed so far,” he added.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.