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The Buffett Rule: A Basic Principle of Tax Fairness

The White House today released  a corrected copy of a new White House report on the economic case for the Buffett Rule, a principle of fairness that ensures that millionaires don’t pay less in taxes as a share of their income than middle class families pay.

The Buffett Rule is the basic principle that no household making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay. Warren Buffett has famously stated that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, but as this report documents this situation is not uncommon. This situation is the result of decades of the tax system being tilted in favor of high-income households at the expense of the middle class. Not only is this unfair, it can also be economically inefficient by providing opportunities for tax planning and distorting decisions. The President has proposed the Buffett Rule as a basic rule of tax fairness that should be met in tax reform. To achieve this principle, the President has proposed that no millionaire pay less than 30 percent of their income in taxes.

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