President Barack Obama's proposal to raise tax rates for America's wealthiest citizens would raise a scant $31 billion, according to an analysis conducted by congressional tax analysts.
The so-called Buffett Rule is named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has called for higher taxes on the rich and offered an enduring symbol of economic inequality by pointing out that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Proposed by Obama in September, the rule would phase out the alternative minimum tax and mandate that people making $1 million or more annually pay at least 30 percent of their salary in taxes.
But a report by Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation, obtained by the Associated Press, found that the new rate would generate about $31 billion through 2022 -- a pittance compared to the magnitude of the budget deficit.
Republicans seized on the report as ammunition for their claim that Obama is simply trying to score political points rather than offer substantive plans to tackle the deficit.
Now that we have this analysis, I hope the president will stop the class warfare and start leading by putting out real proposals to bring down our debt, get rid of the [alternative minimum tax] and reform our broken tax code, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the leading Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a written statement.