Openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee who helped pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act last year, spoke with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton Tuesday about the ideology of the Republican Right, Ronald Reagan on taxing millionaires and President Obama’s campaign to pass the American Jobs Act, which would include the “Buffett rule” closing loopholes that allow millionaires and billionaires from paying less taxes than their workers. “Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett,” Obama said.
ThinkProgress posted a video of Obama and Ronald Reagan (which Sharpton played before the interview with Frank) from a June 6, 1985 speech at Northside High School in Atlanta, Georgia where Reagan “explained that tax loopholes allowing a millionaire to pay lower taxes that a bus driver were ‘crazy,’ because they allowed the ‘truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share:’
We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. [...] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?”
ThinkProgress also noted:
A recent Daily Kos/SEIU “State of the Nation” poll conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 73 percent of Americans, including 66 percent of Republicans, favor the Buffett rule. Remember, it was Reagan who completely equalized the tax treatment of investment income and wage income, which is currently one of the key tax disparities that allows the wealthy to dramatically lower their tax rates.