Debbie Bosanek rose to sudden fame in September 2011, a month after Warren Buffett, a multimillionaire investor and one of the world's richest men, used her as an example of why America's tax system needs to be changed to put more of the burden on the one percent.
Tonight President Obama will offer more details on the Buffett Rule and Buffett's secretary, Debbie Bosanek, will be in the first lady's box, Pfeiffer said, releasing Bosanek's name several hours before the White House released the official 2012 State of the Union guest list.
Buffett kicked off Bosanek's rise to fame on Aug. 14, 2011, when the New York Times published an opinion piece he drafted called Stop Coddling the Super-Rich. In the piece he stated that if the government wants to instill the concept of shared sacrifice in the populace, it should require that he pay a higher portion of his income as taxes than his employees at Berkshire Hathaway, including secretary Debbie Bosanek.
What I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income - and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office, he wrote. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.
Obama seized on the idea in a speech last September, dubbing it the Buffet Rule, and stating that Warren Buffett's secretary shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There's no justification for it.
That Berkshire Hathaway secretary was Debbie Bosanek, a Nebraska native who lives in Bellevue, Neb., with her son and her husband of 23 years and has worked for Buffett's company for 37 years, serving as his secretary for nearly two decades.
Debbie Bosanek told The Washington Post that she was thrilled about having been invited to attend the 2012 State of the Union address.
I was so excited I couldn't sleep last night, she told the paper.
The Buffet Rule, which many observers believe Obama will make a centerpiece of his push to help the middle class and improve the economy, would raise taxes for Americans with incomes of more than $1 million, and increase them further for Americans with incomes of more than $10 million.