WASHINGTON, D.C.--Senator John Thune has introduced "The Buffett Rule Act of 2011" (S.1676) to create an option for individuals who believe they are under-taxed to voluntarily send extra money to the U.S. Treasury for the purpose of paying down the national debt. Thune's legislation is co-sponsored by 29 of his Senate colleagues.
"If individuals like Warren Buffett or President Obama are inclined to donate their own personal money toward paying down the federal government's debt, they ought to have that right to do so voluntarily," said Thune. "This bill would make it easier for those wealthy individuals who feel they are currently under-taxed to pay more to the U.S. Treasury above and beyond their current obligations, without raising taxes on America's job creators."
The "Buffett Rule Act of 2011" would allow a taxpayer filing a federal income tax return to donate an amount no less than $1 to be deposited into a fund at the U.S. Treasury dedicated to deficit reduction. Starting with the 2011 tax year, this legislation would provide a clearly marked, convenient option on tax forms to allow the voluntary donation of money for those wishing to make such a donation.
"Senator Thune should be commended for solving Warren Buffett's seemingly intractable problem," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Thanks to Senator Thune's leadership, Mr. Buffett soon will be able to simply write a check when he thinks the government can spend his money better than he can."
Companion legislation was introduced recently in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana.