President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the US middle class deserves
tax cuts, while people with incomes above $1 million per year should pay
at least 30 percent in taxes.
"Congress needs to make the Buffet
rule a reality," the president said. "This is common sense. If you make
more than $1 million a year, you should pay a tax rate of at least 30
The Buffet rule was inspired by the complaints of
billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who said last year that he is taxed at
a lower rate than his secretary. In his speech, Obama thanked citizens who
brought pressure to bear so that an agreement could be achieved in
Congress between Democrats and Republicans to extend the payroll-tax cut
for 160 million workers. The president said that Congress should not stop
there and now has to approve a law so that the victims of the mortgage
bubble can refinance their debt, given that banks are now enjoying
historically low interest rates.
He also called for measures to
support small and medium businesses who want to export their products
instead of favouring those who send their production operations offshore.
Obama, who is seeking re-election in November, urged Americans to continue
pressuring their representatives in Congress to make advances in the
economy and improvements for the working class. "Americans do not have the
luxury of putting off tough decisions," he said. "There is a lot more we
can do if we want to build an economy where every American can have a
chance to find a job."