Vast Majority Of Americans Favor Buffett Rule's Millionaire Tax: Poll
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they support President Barack Obama's proposal to tax households making $1 million or more at the same or higher rate as middle-class households, according to a recent poll from website Daily Kos.
The poll found two-thirds of Republicans also support the so-called "Buffett Rule" –- named after famed investor Warren Buffett, who proposed increasing taxes on wealthy in a recent op-ed in The New York Times. But the measure faces stiff opposition. After Obama unveiled the Buffett rule earlier this month as part of a proposal to cut the national deficit through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, Republican leaders derided the plan as "class warfare."
The report’s findings parallel the results of a Gallup poll released earlier this month, which found that two-thirds of Americans favor boosting taxes on households earning more than $200,000 per year.
One demographic is even more supportive of the Buffett rule than the national average. The under-30 set is overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal, according to millennial advocacy group, Our Time. A Facebook survey of its members found that 80 percent support the measure.
But even if the Buffett rule makes it past hostile opposition, it would likely only make a dent in cutting the deficit, according to The Atlantic. If tax rates reverted to pre-Bush-tax-cut levels, they would bring in 4.5 percent of the 2009 national deficit, The Atlantic's Daniel Indiviglio writes.
Approximately 60,000 people fall under the Buffet Rule, according to The New York Times, and raising their taxes would generate about $13 billion in revenue over the next decade.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire himself, told NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday that the Buffet Rule and the anecdote that Buffett used to popularize the proposal is "theatrics", according to The Hill. Buffett wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times last month that he pays a lower tax rate than any of the other 20 people working in his office.
Bloomberg countered that if Buffett had made less of his money through investments he would be paying more in taxes, according to The Hill. The mayor proposed a 2 or 3 percent tax increase on all households instead.
But if passed, the Buffett Rule would likely have little impact on the rich, If lawmakers increased the tax rate for the wealthy, they wouldn’t likely hire or spend less, just as it wouldn’t likely stall growth, experts told The Huffington Post earlier this month.