White House Wants Vote to Raise Taxes

White House Wants Vote to Raise Taxes

A Senate vote next week on the so-called Buffett Rule on taxing the wealthy opens a door to broader tax reform discussions, a White House spokesman said Monday.

It also will mean senators’ position about how much tax the wealthy should pay will be on the record, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday during his daily media briefing.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., introduced a bill that would require taxpayers with annual income above $1 million to pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent. The rule is named for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has said he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, and that he thought he and other similarly wealthy taxpayers should pay more.

The measure also allows for a broader discussion on tax reform, the spokesman said.

But setting a tax rate for annual incomes of more than $1 million would help, Carney said.

Asked if the White House was looking to make some political hay by pushing the Buffett Rule after it was revealed that Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the GOP presidential race, and his wife paid a 14 percent tax rate on $27 million last year, Carney noted Obama had been pushing the Buffett Rule for some time.

He also encouraged anyone who supports Ryan’s budget measure — without specifically mentioning Romney, who backs Ryan’s bill — to offer examples of where savings could be found.