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‘Class warfare’ or just good math? Obama proposes a tax on the super wealthy




U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about his proposed federal deficit reduction plan in the Rose Garden at the White House September 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about his proposed federal deficit reduction plan in the Rose Garden at the White House September 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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Why, President Obama asked this morning while laying out his economic plan to draw down the federal debt, should a teacher pay a higher tax rate than a millionaire? That question has prompted the commander-in-chief to propose a special minimum tax rate for millionaires that would insure they pay the same tax rate as middle-income taxpayers.

The idea of a higher tax rate for the wealthiest Americans elicited a strong reaction from some Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis), chairman of the House Budget Committee. Ryan suggested the President was engaging in “class warfare” and warned that taxing more would mean fewer jobs and less investment. Obama countered that the tax proposal didn’t amount to class warfare, rather “good math.” Is this tax proposal an equalizer, good math or a political play by the President?

Guests:

Mary Bottari, director of the Real Economy Project at the Center for Media and Democracy

Andrew Biggs, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration in the Bush Administration