GOP Alternative to IRS Buffet Rule

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The Republicans have never been hot on the so-called ‘Buffet Rule’ where the government raise taxes on the wealthy, particularly the millionaires. In fact, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. went so far as to describe the initiative as ‘class warfare’. Scalise has now come up with an alternative on behalf of the GOP. He said he plans to submit a bill that would add a line to the 1040 tax form allowing people who feel they do not pay enough income tax to opt to pay more.

Scalise said, “I wanted to make sure that there was an option out there on the IRS tax form for those out there who wanted to send more of their money into Washington to help pay down the deficit. It’s an idea that solves a few problems and ensures that taxes won’t be raised on America’s job creators.”

The ‘Buffet Rule’ came about because of a remark made by billionaire Warren Buffet that his secretary paid a higher tax rate than he does. So Scalise is giving Buffet an opportunity to “put his money where his mouth is” and “send in a check” to the US Treasury.

Scalise has gained the praise of a few industry stakeholders, notably the conservative group, Americans for Tax Reform whose founder Grover Norquist sent Scalise a letter praising his proposed bill. However, Norquist noted that when similar “tax me more” lines were put in at state level tax systems, the “limousine liberal set” did not “put their money where their mouth is.”

In a statement, Americans for Tax Reform said, “Mr. Buffett should be able to voluntarily pay extra income taxes if he feels the need to – without imposing broad, job-killing tax hikes on our nation’s small employers. Taxpayers are calling Mr. Buffett’s bluff with this legislation. It’s his move.”

Other lawmakers also feel the same as Scalise and have voiced similar sentiments that Buffet should pay up all he feels he should be taxed on instead of having the President initiate a mandatory tax hike on the rich. Here are other comments on the Buffet Rule from various lawmakers.

Last month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, “If he’s feeling guilty about it, I think he should send in a check … but we don’t want to stagnate this economy by raising taxes”.

Just after the announcement of the Buffet Rule, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., commented on “Fox News Sunday” that the Buffett Rule would “simply divide this country more,” and “will attack job creators, divide people and it doesn’t grow the economy.”

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