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The Obama Solution: tax the rich

Published time: February 13, 2012 18:20
Edited time: February 13, 2012 22:20
US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

President Barack Obama revealed his 2013 budget early Monday, and in a brief address managed to summarize his plan in just three little words: tax the rich.

Attempting re-election while America continues to see a worsening inequality gap and unfavorable employment numbers, President Obama once again relied heavily on attacking the country’s wealthy elite during his budget explanation Monday morning. Citing the tax breaks bestowed on the richest two percent of the country, Obama insisted in an address from a community college in Northern Virginia that the US needs to “restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot.”

“The economy is growing stronger” and “recovery is speeding up,” explained Obama early Monday. “The last thing we can afford to do right now is go back to the very policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”

Acknowledging that unemployment statistics have been on the decline in recent weeks, Obama said that America was on the up-and-up. Still, he said, progress could be propelled ever faster if the richest Americans paid their fair share to the country.

Obama said that his 2013 budget calls for investing in matters that will spur growth in the economy immediately, insisting that cuts to infrastructure and certain industries will only impact the recovery. “We can’t cut back on those things that are important for us to grow,” said Obama. “We can’t just cut out way into growth. We can cut back on the things we don’t need, but we also need to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share for the things they do need,” said the president.

“Asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary when it comes to his tax rate, that’s just common sense,” said the president.

Facing off against a Republican Party frontrunner that boasts millionaire status, President Obama explained that America’s wealthy elite are benefiting from an unfair advantage in the US. While the bottom 98 percent are seeing hikes, the wealthy are still prospering and Congress is doing little to reverse it. If that top two percent was taxed accordingly, said Obama, the country’s road to recovery would be paved that much smoother.

GOP contender Mitt Romney has previously attacked Obama’s plan as nothing other than class warfare and said that the rest of America shouldn’t be jealous of his success. Responding on Monday, Obama insisted that “We don’t envy the wealthy but we do expect everybody to do their fair share.”

Addressing concerns from wealthy Republican Party rivals that that ethos was aimed at dismantling Americans who have become successful, Obama shrugged the comments off.

“That’s not Class warfare; It’s common sense,” said the president.

“Keep in mind, a quarter of our millionaires pay a lower tax rate that middle of lower class households,” said Obama. “I don’t need a tax break. We don’t need to be providing additional tax cuts for folks who are doing really, really, really well.”

“Warren Buffett is doing fine, I’m doing fine. We don’t need the tax breaks. You need them. You’re the ones that have seen your wages stall. You’re the ones where the cost of everything from college to groceries has gone up. You’re the ones that deserve a break.”

“Do we want to keep these tax cuts for wealthy Americans, or do we want to invest in everything else?” asked the president. “We can’t do both. We can’t afford it.”

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