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Thune, Scalise Re-introduce “Buffett Rule Act”

Bill makes it easier for those who want to voluntarily pay more to the federal government

April 15, 2013

Washington, D.C. — 

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) today re-introduced the Buffett Rule Act, which would make it easier for individuals who believe they are under-taxed to voluntarily send extra money to the U.S. Treasury for the purposes of paying down the national debt. Currently, individuals can donate extra money to the government, but Thune and Scalise’s legislation would add a donation box to IRS filing forms, making it easier for those so inclined to voluntarily donate more than they already owe in taxes to pay down the national debt. The bill is named in honor of billionaire Warren Buffett, who has long said he doesn’t pay enough in taxes.

“President Obama has signed over $1.7 trillion in tax hikes into law since taking office, and now is proposing another $1.1 trillion in new taxes in his budget, including his Buffett Rule tax hike, which will stifle job creation and economic growth,” said Thune. “President Obama continues to advocate for higher taxes on American families and small businesses, yet we just learned that his effective income tax rate for 2012 was only 18.4 percent, far lower than the 40 percent top marginal rate he’s advocated for small businesses and 30 percent effective rate he’s advocated for millionaires. Our legislation, which stands in stark contrast to the misguided approach of raising taxes on American families and small businesses owners, would make it even easier for taxpayers such as the president to pay what they believe is their ‘fair share.’”

“It’s almost ironic that just days after President Obama submitted his 65-day late budget request with more than a trillion dollars in new taxes, Americans are writing checks to the government on tax day,” Scalise said. “The President continues his endless pursuit of higher taxes on hard-working families and small businesses, and has used Warren Buffett as the poster-child for his class warfare scheme. President Obama already got more than $600 billion in tax hikes just a few months ago, not to mention the $1 trillion tax hike on middle-class families included in Obamacare. Enough is enough. If Warren Buffett and others truly feel like they’re still not paying enough in taxes, they can use this Buffett Rule to put their money where their mouth is and voluntarily send in more to pay down the national debt, rather than raising taxes on hard-working Americans. Liberals in Congress and the White House continue to call for more revenue. Here is their chance, but the only prerequisite is that donations that come from the Buffett Rule Act are strictly voluntary and are used to pay down our massive debt, not more irresponsible spending.”

The Buffett Rule Act 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. The voluntary check box on the IRS form created by the Buffett Rule Act would read: “By checking here, I signify that in addition to my tax liability (if any), I would like to donate the included payment to be used exclusively for the purpose of paying down the national debt.” The Thune, Scalise Buffett Rule Act of 2011 passed the House unanimously last Congress, but was not considered by the Democrat-controlled Senate.