In a stab to President Barack Obama, Senate Republicans knocked out the Democratic “Buffett Rule” bill just as the nation is about to pay its taxes. While senators did vote to keep the bill alive in a 51-45 vote, they fell nine votes short of continuing to debate the measure, which they could only have done with 60 votes.
Obama showed disgust at the vote, saying that Republicans decided
"once again to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class." He continued by saying that, "It's just plain wrong that millions of middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires.”
Republicans, in contrast, call this measure one that is really just distracting the country from the real economic woes we face. As Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, said,
"This legislation will do nothing with regard to job creation, with regard to gas prices, with regard to economic recovery.”
The vote on Monday signaled the first time that the “Buffett rule” proposal has actually come before the Senate for a vote this election year. Certainly, with an election year in full swing, the economic arguments are both sides will only heat up, and the “Buffett rule” is but one example of the frictions between the two parties in regards to America’s economic recovery.
While campaigning in Philadelphia, Mitt Romney recently ridiculed the Buffett rule, saying that the revenue it produced would only fund the government for close to 11 hours. This, however, from a man who earned approximately $21 million a year for the last two years, and who paid only about 14% in 2010 on his taxes and 15% last year.
Obama, in contrast, made approximately $790,000 last year and paid taxes at a rate of almost 21%. The White House said in a recent statement that,
"The administration believes that continuing to allow some of the wealthiest Americans to use special tax breaks to avoid paying their fair share simply cannot be justified."