Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Politics

President Barack Obama visiting Florida to talk about 'Buffett Rule'

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will travel to Tampa on Friday before heading to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas, the White House announced Monday.

Details of the short trip were not disclosed. It will be Obama's second trip to the state in a week.

Today, Obama will appear at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton to make 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 be a drop in the deficit bucket.

The rule is named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who said last year that he pays a smaller tax rate than his secretary. Democrats think they have a winning issue based on polls and anxiety over income disparity.

It's also a way to remind voters about Republican front-runner Mitt Romney's wealth, and that he paid a tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010. (Romney played by the rules, and gave a lot to charity.)

Obama's speech today 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 be fairer," 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 today with Obama, who is also doing fundraising in Florida.

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