In a speech given from the White House Rose Garden on Monday, President Obama proposed a $3 trillion plan to cut the deficit, with half of that amount covered by increased taxes on the wealthy and another $800 million financed by letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire.
“If we are going to make spending cuts… then it is only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share … We can’t afford these special lower rates for the wealthy. We can’t afford them when we are running these big deficits,” he said.
In addition, President Obama proposed the so-called “Buffet Tax,” which would set a minimum tax rate for any person earning over $1 million per year. It was named after investor Warren Buffet, who has often said high-income individuals should pay more taxes.
“Warren Buffet’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffet,” the president said.
He also addressed Republicans who claim he’s waging “class warfare” in the run-up to his 2012 re-election campaign.
“This is not class warfare, it is math,” he said. “Any reform plan will have to raise revenue to help close our deficit. That has to be part of the formula … Middle-class taxpayers shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires. That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that.”
Watch the speech below: