Vice President Biden frames choice between ‘Romney Rule’ and ‘Buffett Rule’
With tax returns due in four days and the U.S. Senate scheduled to vote on the Buffett Rule on Monday, President Obama and Vice President Biden will release their families’ tax returns to the public today, according to the Obama campaign. The campaign will simultaneously call on Mitt Romney to follow suit.
Romney has only released one full year of tax returns documents, even though he gave John McCain’s vice presidential selection committee 23 years worth of documentation. The earlier returns would contain answers to key questions about whether and how he managed to use Bain-created tax shelters and where he invested his money, but releasing this year’s return would once again call attention to the fact that despite earning $20 million per year, Romney pays a lower tax rate than many Americans earning a fraction of that.
But this isn’t just about Mitt Romney—this is also about the economic policies that Romney benefits from and what they mean for the country. And to make that point, yesterday Vice President Biden contrasted the Buffett Rule—which would end that practice—with what he calls the Romney Rule.
If Governor Romney has his way, we’ll have the Romney Rule. And I mean it sincerely—this isn’t a cute little deal. There’s a Romney Rule. The Romney Rule says, let’s double down on the tax cuts for the wealthy. [...]
Let’s take a look what the Romney Rule values, what the Governor values, and his colleagues. He values Bush tax cuts to be made permanent for the wealthy. The ones that are intended to expire this December, he wants to extend them permanently. That will cost $1 trillion over the next 10 years; $800 billion of that trillion going to people who make a minimum of $1 million. And to add insult to injury, the Romney Rule proposes to give another $250,000-a-year tax cut to the average millionaire, on top of maintaining the Bush tax cuts.
I know—if you hadn’t watched all the debates, you’d probably think I’m making this up. (Laughter.) But seriously, that’s what—that’s what he calls for, the Romney Rule calls for. That’s another trillion dollars in tax cuts over the next 10 years going to the top 1 percent of American taxpayers.
Biden contrasted Romney’s trickle-down approach with an economic agenda focused on building the middle class:
The President and I are determined to make the economy work for everybody—everybody. Not just because it’s fair—literally, not just because it’s fair. That’s reason enough. But we believe, and history shows, when the middle class grows the wealthy get wealthier, the poor have a better shot, the economy is sound and the economy grows. We believe in a fair shot and a fair shake.
There’s no doubt Republicans will kick and scream that Biden and Obama are socialists for pointing out the unfairness of how the present system benefits wealthy “lucky duckies” like Mitt Romney. But as Biden said, fairness for the sake of fairness is only part of the issue here: Democrats also support fairness because it works. The Romney Rule is worse than simply being unfair: it’s unfair and as we’ve learned over the past decade, it doesn’t work.