Buffett Rule 'Scares Conservatives'

Chris Hayes hosts discussion on President Obama's tax plan
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2012 2:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – Chris Hayes hosted a feisty roundtable discussion today on MSNBC about the Buffet Rule, asking whether President Obama's attempt to tax the rich at 30% is just a "gimmick"—or, as Mitt Romney has warned, a needless "source of division."

  • David Cay Johnson, Reuters columnist: "Ronald Reagan put a tax rate in of 28%; 20% is somehow confiscatory? This is absurd. The fact is, we are destroying our economy and making our country poorer because we’re not putting enough money into the basic services."

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  • Betsey Stevenson, University of Pennsylvania Wharton professor: "At the end of the day it’s not about a 30% rate. It's about the fact that [the rich] get all the tax expenditures. We're mailing them huge checks for things like expensive houses. Why on earth are we giving millionaires checks for their homes?"
  • Tom Perriello, former Democratic Rep: "I think this is scaring the bejeezus out of the conservatives. It's deeply rooted in the American psyche and it’s almost as strong among conservatives in my district as it is among liberals. They don’t like the idea that the system is rigged."
  • Heather McGee, Demos vice president, warns that the real issue will be whether to continue the Bush tax cuts, on the table again this year: "It’s a Republican house. It's a worse Congress with which to play this game. It’s going to be a serious problem."
See the whole discussion here. (Read more Bush tax cuts stories.)

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