In a much-needed though slightly cheeky PR-move with the capitalists of this country, President Obama offered on Wednesday to change the name of the so-called “Buffett Rule“, re-branding it the “Reagan Rule“, though changing nothing of its contents. The reason? Because Reagan is the one that went after millionaires and sought to close tax loopholes first, not Democrats.
“If it’ll help convince folks in Congress to make the right choice, we can call it the Reagan Rule instead of the Buffett Rule,” Obama said at a White House event surrounded by millionaires and their secretaries, all supportive of a 30% minimum tax on income of more than $1 million.
“I’m not the first president to call for this idea that everybody’s got to do their fair share,” Obama said. “Some years ago, one of my predecessors traveled across the country pushing for the same concept. He gave a speech where he talked about a letter he had received from a wealthy executive who paid lower tax rates than his secretary and wanted to come to Washington and tell Congress why that was wrong.”
Continuing, Obama suggested that right-wingers point their fingers and aim their disgust not at himself, but at one of the right’s most beloved icons: “That wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior was Ronald Reagan. He thought that in America, the wealthiest should pay their fair share, and he said so. I know that position might disqualify him from Republican primaries these days.”
This type of rhetoric is not necessarily new to Obama’s routine. His campaign have been embracing Reagan lately, but as a contrast to today’s GOP, saying that Reagan was willing to cut deals across the aisle that raised taxes, and have used a clip of an indignant Reagan asking why millionaires pay less in taxes than bus drivers.
Obama also put the Buffett Rule against increased costs for seniors benefiting from Medicare and higher interest rates for student loans.
Well played, Mr. President.