One of the fundamental challenges of our time is building an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.
And as many Americans rush to file their taxes this weekend, it’s worth pointing out that we’ve got a tax system that doesn’t always uphold the principle of everyone doing their part.
Now, this is not just about fairness. This is also about growth. It’s about being able to make the investments we need to strengthen our economy and create jobs. And it’s about whether we as a country are willing to pay for those investments.
In a perfect world, of course, none of us would have to pay any taxes. We’d have no deficits to pay down. And we’d have all the resources we needed to invest in things like schools and roads and a strong military and new sources of energy – investments that have always bolstered our economy and strengthened the middle class.
But we live in the real world, with real choices and real consequences. Right now, we’ve got significant deficits to close. We’ve got serious investments to make to keep our economy growing. And we can’t afford to keep spending more money on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them.
Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men in the world. But he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. That’s just the way the system is set up. In fact, one in four millionaires pays a lower tax rate than millions of hardworking middle-class households.
As Warren points out, that’s not fair and it doesn’t make sense. It’s wrong that middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires.