Buffett Rule creates fair tax for everyone
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2012 18:04
I believe that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. Leona Helmsley, a businesswoman and real estate entrepreneur who was convicted of federal income tax evasion, would have blatantly disagreed – she didn’t even think that she was obligated to pay her taxes. Why? She said, “Only little people pay taxes,” according to People.
While Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney pays his taxes, the tax rate that he pays is significantly lower than the tax rates that our families pay. With an income of about $21 million, according to The New York Times, Romney pays a tax rate of 13.9 percent while the average middle-class couple pays a tax rate of 20.6 percent for a combined income of $85,000, according to BarackObama.com. It’s simple: Middle-class families have been paying more taxes to make up for millionaire tax cuts.
If millionaires paid their fair share of taxes, the doors of opportunity would swing open for countless Americans, including college students.
As a student, I am very concerned about the rising costs of higher education and the insurmountable amount of student debt that exists. Cashing in at more than $1 trillion, according to the Wall Street Journal, student loan debt now surpasses any other kind of debt, including credit card debt. According to the Chicago Tribune, students graduated from college in 2010 with an average $25,250 of debt on their backs. Realizing this, students everywhere are speaking out about student debt.
However, we have never treated our futures like a “game.” The choice to earn a college degree was a serious investment that we made in ourselves, but many students cannot afford college without loans and Pell grants. Needless to say, we literally cannot afford to lose Congress’ financial support on this issue.
Fortunately, President Barack Obama has our backs. He realizes that if everyone would pay their fair share of taxes, students like us could actually afford to stay in college.
Obama has proposed the Buffett Rule: The common-sense rule of thumb that millionaires should pay their fair share of taxes, based on the fact that Warren Buffett, an American billionaire and extraordinaire, complains that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
One “fair share” from a millionaire could provide 5,400 Pell grants for college students like us, or put 22,000 students into work study programs that would help us pay our way through school, according to the Obama campaign website. These are the opportunities that could be provided to students from the fair share of just one millionaire. Now, imagine if all millionaires paid their fair share.
These essential benefits to students are just one example of what the Buffett Rule would do; it would also prevent the layoffs of teachers, pay the salaries of public safety employees, lower healthcare costs for seniors, give jobs to veterans and help pay off our deficit.
If Romney and his fellow millionaires would paid their fair share, the doors of opportunity for hard-working Americans across the economic spectrum would open. That means that all students would have the opportunity to better themselves with a college education if they keep themselves on the right track. But remember, the doors to these life-changing opportunities will remain shut if Romney and his fellow millionaires keep paying an average tax rate of 18.1 percent.
The Buffett Rule is common sense. If millionaires pay their fair share, we all get a fair shake.