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Vote on the Buffett Rule

April 11, 2012 8:41 am ET
Next Monday, the day before Tax Day, the Senate will vote on the "Buffett Rule" -- here's how to make the case for it and discredit the other side.

CORE MESSAGE

Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires.

Connect:  Middle-class Americans pay their taxes, so it isn't right when millionaires and billionaires don't pay their fair share.

Define: The "Buffett Rule" simply says that in America, middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires.

Illustrate: It means that Wall Street CEOs and Big Oil executives will have to pay their fair share -- and firefighters and teachers won't continue to pay higher taxes than millionaires.

Contrast: Washington Republicans want a different America than the rest of us -- one where working families sacrifice more so the 1% can pay less.

Discredit: It's unbelievable that Republicans would dare oppose the Buffett Rule, but that's what happens when politicians put donors over voters.

Offer solutions: The truth is that we can invest in America's future and pay down the debt if millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. Let's start with the Buffett Rule.


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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES

MYTH: "Half of Americans don't pay taxes -- low-income people aren't paying their fair share."
RESPONSE:

  • Actually, all Americans pay taxes. Even those who don't make enough money to pay taxes on their income still pay taxes like payroll, property or sales tax, or taxes on everyday things like gas for their cars.
  • Struggling families would be happy to be paying more taxes if it meant they made as much money as millionaires do.
  • The richest few are doing better than ever while so many working families are struggling -- let's restore the tax rates we had when millionaires paid their fair share and our economy flourished.


ATTACK: "Obama is waging class warfare."
RESPONSE:

  • As Warren Buffett tells it, the only class warfare in America is being waged by his class -- and they're winning.
  • Middle-class families shouldn't have to pay higher taxes than any millionaire. That's not class warfare. That's a basic American value.
  • The Buffett Rule is simple. President Reagan got it. President Obama gets it. Americans get it. It's time for Republicans in Congress to get it, too.


MYTH: "We can't raise taxes on millionaires because they're our job creators."
RESPONSE:


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


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