Rep. Ryan: 'Buffett Rule' an example of 'class warfare'

The GOP chairman of the House Budget Committee reacted to President Obama's new proposal to raise revenue by taxing the wealthy on Sunday by calling the plan an example of “class warfare.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) signaled Republican resistance on Fox News Sunday to Obama's new “Buffett Rule,” a higher tax rate on millionaires that the president will propose on Monday.

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The rule is part of Obama's plan to pay for his $447 billion jobs bill. The new millionaire rate will be called the "Buffett Rule" in reference to billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has long called on lawmakers to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Republicans have opposed tax hikes across the board. “You tax something more, you get less of it,” Ryan said. Obama is trying to “raise the tax on capital,” he said.

Ryan also rejected Buffett's previous criticism that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary did last year, saying taxing Buffett's capital gains would be double taxation.

The new rule is one of Obama's suggestions to the deficit-reduction supercommittee tasked with negotiating a package by Nov. 23. Democrats have said they require new revenue in order to also find the mandated $1.5 trillion in spending cuts.

Ryan sounded far less optimistic about chances for Republicans and Democrats to work together, both on the committee and specifically on tax reform, than he did last Thursday. Previously, he told MSNBC: “I think we have a shot at this” because both sides, along with President Obama, seemed to agree with the need to get rid of loopholes.

Sunday, Ryan said, “I thought we had a shot at bipartisanship; this new info leads me to second-guess myself.”

Ryan added, “We should hold our expectations down on the select committee.”


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