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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama brings 'Buffett Rule' fight to Florida tomorrow



caption-contest.jpgPresident Barack Obama's speech tomorrow at Florida Atlantic University will press the case for the "Buffett Rule," a proposal that would require the wealthy to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. The visit kicks off a nationwide push by Democrats on an election year issue that Republicans decry as class warfare that would been a drop in the deficit bucket.

The rule is named after investor Warren Buffett, who famously said last year that he pays a smaller tax rate than his secretary. Democrats think they have a winning issue based on polls and growing anxiety over income disparity. It's also a way to remind voters that Mitt Romney is a really rich guy, who in 2010 paid a tax rate of 13.9 percent. (Romney played by the rules, of course, and gave a lot to charity.)

Obama's speech Tuesday will coincide with events Democrats will hold in other states. Vice President Biden will speak Thursday in New Hampshire. "The president believes in standing up for the middle class and asking our tax system fairer, where everyone plays by the same set of rules, in other to ensure the economic security of the middle class," the White House said.

The Senate is to vote on the Buffett Rule this month but it's likely to die with almost universal opposition from Republicans, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio is "in favor of pro-growth tax reform that lowers rates and creates jobs," spokesman Alex Conant said.

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson supports the measure, and will appear Tuesday with Obama, who is also doing fundraising in Florida.

The Buffett Rule won't do much for the deficit - raising an estimated $47 billion over 11 years.

[Last modified: Monday, April 9, 2012 12:45pm]


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