In what has been a holding pattern for the GOP and President Barack Obama, House Republicans and GOP Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have taken sharp digs at the budget plan Obama unveiled early Monday. The potentially contentious battle over taxes and the GOP resistance to all things coming out of the White House sets the table for a tough reelection bid for Obama heading toward November.
In the President’s 2013 fiscal budget plan, there is a focus on taxing dividends received by high-income taxpayers as ordinary income that would raise the top rate from 15 percent to 39.6 percent. This would serve as a reversal of an earlier policy endorsed by Obama that formerly taxed dividends less than the overall wage income. Obama’s current budget would raise a projected $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years.
The Romney campaign quickly seized on the minds and hearts of his voting base, calling the tax increases “an insult” to taxpayers who are struggling in the midst of a tough economic storm. Even though much of the tax aims in the budget are geared toward the rich, the GOP has raised strong opposition to any adjustments made to the current tax scale. Ron Paul was critical of the budget proposal as well, stating that he intends to cut $1 trillion dollars in his first year should he be elected president.
The so-called “Buffet Rule,” which is aimed at those individuals who earn more than $1 million, has also been criticized even though billionaire businessman Warren Buffet wrote in a New York Times column that he paid less tax than other members on his staff. The rule would essentially add a 30 percent minimum tax on to a millionaire’s annual income haul. The White House has stated this rule would replace the alternative minimum tax, “which now burdens middle-class Americans rather than stopping the richest Americans from paying too little as was originally intended,” according to the Obama administration.
Learn more about the President’s budget plan, here.