Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly one trillion dollars more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, or do we want to keep our investments in everything else? Like education and medical research? A strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.
The American people know what the right choice is: so do I. As I told the Speaker this summer, I’m prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long-term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for seniors. But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me — and an awful lot of members of Congress — pay our fair share of taxes. Tax reform should follow the ‘Buffett Rule’: if you make more than a million dollars a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.