GOP introduces its own Buffett Rule: Add explicit donation option to tax returns

posted at 2:05 pm on October 13, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Technically, nothing prevents Warren Buffett and other “Patriotic Millionaires” from donating money to the federal government right now, but, as they continue to clamor for a higher tax rate for themselves and others, it’s easy to assume they don’t know that. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) have introduced legislation to ensure they do:

Dubbed “The Buffett Rule Act of 2011,” the names of the bills take a mocking swipe at President Barack Obama’s own proposed “Buffet Rule,” which conversely would close tax code loopholes to ensure that Warren Buffett and those like him no longer pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries.

According to Thune, there is nothing stopping Buffett from paying more in taxes, and his legislation would streamline that capability.

“If individuals like Warren Buffett or President Obama are inclined to donate their own personal money towards paying down the federal government’s debt, they ought to have that right to do so voluntarily,” said Thune.

“This bill would make it easier for those wealthy individuals who feel they are currently under-taxed to pay more to the U.S. Treasury, above and beyond their current obligations, without raising taxes on America’s job creators.”

Basically, the Buffett Rule Act would require the IRS to include a line option on tax forms to donate money to the Treasury to pay down the deficit. This is a brilliant bit of point-making legislation on the part of Thune and Scalise, but it’s also rather sad we need it. What would be the cost of all new IRS forms just to underscore the hypocrisy of the ultra-rich who would rather chastise their peers than actually put their money where their mouths are? Don’t forget Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway already owes back taxes. Pointing out his do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do line has grown old. Make a massive donation now please, Mr. Buffett, just to prove you know you can.


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Priceless!

sandee on October 13, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Excellent!

darwin on October 13, 2011 at 2:08 PM

What would be the cost of all new IRS forms just to underscore the hypocrisy of the ultra-rich who would rather chastise their peers than actually put their money where their mouths are?

Unless you’re trying to count the weight of the actual ink for that line, the cost would be ZERO, they change and reprint the forms every year.

Jason Coleman on October 13, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Uh, Tina. The tax forms are “all new” every year as congress incessantly messes with the tax law. Also, more and more are just electronic.

philw1776 on October 13, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Heh.

rbj on October 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM

How many “liberals” will pay more taxes now?

Answer: Zero

darwin on October 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Or, if you want to pay more taxes, just don’t claim any deductions. It’s not that hard to increase your tax burden.

lorien1973 on October 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

“There’s a proposal in Congress to allow rich people who feel they don’t pay enough income tax to voluntarily pay more. Economists say this could bring in as much as $75 a year.” –Jay Leno

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

END RUNaroo!

canopfor on October 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

The Congress still has to overcome the fact that taxes are voluntary.

Buffet simply declined to volunteer.

BobMbx on October 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

BWHAAAAAAAAAAA

reshas1 on October 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Here’s a link to Pay dot gov, where you can give the U.S. money to bring down the debt already:

I think I saw somewhere that they have raised about $2MM a year lately

phillypolitics on October 13, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Unless you’re trying to count the weight of the actual ink for that line, the cost would be ZERO, they change and reprint the forms every year.

Jason Coleman on October 13, 2011 at 2:08 PM

And how many people actually file their taxes using a printed form anymore? Turbotax wills simply add one more question at the end that asks DO YOU WANT TO DONATE MORE MONEY? And since nobody will every click Yes, they won’t even need to program for it.

angryed on October 13, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Meanwhile, several candidates at the Bloomberg debate wondered why the House hasn’t passed a bill to overturn Frank-Dodd and the House still has nothing in the works to do so.

lorien1973 on October 13, 2011 at 2:13 PM

OT – this looks like trouble:

‘Occupy Wall Street’ to resist park cleanup
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65892.html

He said the demonstrators could return once the park was cleaned, as long as they abide by basic park rules, such as the ban on tents and sleeping bags. But protesters say the cleaning is just a scheme by officials to force them out of Zuccotti Park permanently — and some are pledging to resist any attempts by police and workers to come into the park.

Colbyjack on October 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

You’ll get neither a “harumph” out of Buffett, nor an additional contribution …

ya2daup on October 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Will there be a line added to donate cans of Spam to the Occupoopers of Wall Street? Just askin’…

Fallon on October 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

This reminds me of the “Tax Me More Fund” setup by Huckabee in Arkansas. There were a number of stories about it when the total donations finally reached a grand.

flyfisher on October 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

“The Buffett Rule Act of 2011″

The “Law of Unintended Consequences” when one lends your name to Obowma…

… Priceless!

Seven Percent Solution on October 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

No one cared back in 2004 when Kerry opted not to voluntarily pay the higher state tax rate in MA with a similar line on the state tax form. Why would anyone care now?

rw on October 13, 2011 at 2:17 PM

OT – this looks like trouble:
‘Occupy Wall Street’ to resist park cleanup
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65892.html
Colbyjack on October 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Looks like white ash massages are back on the menu, boys!

ya2daup on October 13, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Finally!

This is GREAT!

This thing needs more publicity.

gumble on October 13, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Snarkalicious.

Also, if the GOP yields on a surtax for very wealthy people (say, increasing the tax on long-term capital gains and dividends from 15% to 20%), there should be some conditions. The increase should be separately computed and that amount, when paid, should be transferred from the Treasury to the Bureau of Public Debt to pay down the debt rather than to finance current spending. Also, I’d want an IG overseeing those transfers, and I’d want an IG report that assessing how much revenue was raised by the surtax and the response of those taxpayers who’d be subject to it.

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2011 at 2:19 PM

That’s fine with the libs, so long as they can donate someone else’s money.

Ward Cleaver on October 13, 2011 at 2:20 PM

What would be the cost of all new IRS forms just to underscore the hypocrisy of the ultra-rich who would rather chastise their peers than actually put their money where their mouths are?

I think most taxes are done on a computer, and then completed forms generated on a printer, so I imagine for most it will just a programming change.

Ward Cleaver on October 13, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Colbyjack on October 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

“Hell no, we won’t go let you pick up our poop.”

Ward Cleaver on October 13, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Gimmick. How about simply going after loud-mouth gazillionaires like Buffett for unpaid taxes?

Christien on October 13, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Poor Warren. Except for the extreme left – EVERYONE else sees right through him.

Warren likes to say “I” don’t pay enough in taxes. Yet his solution is that EVERYONE in his income tax bracket pay more.

What happened to “I”, Warren?

GarandFan on October 13, 2011 at 2:27 PM

They have a similar option on Mass tax returns already. Very few people in Mass use it.

dogsoldier on October 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Let’s soak the rich, GOP-style
******************************

September 28, 2011
By Marc A. Thiessen, The Washington Post

President Obama is campaigning for reelection by casting Republicans as the party of the rich because they oppose his plan to raise tax rates on wealthy Americans. “If you’ve done well,” Obama declared in Cincinnati last week, “then you should do a little something to give something back.”
(More……………)
=======================

http://paulryan.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=262097

canopfor on October 13, 2011 at 6:39 AM

canopfor on October 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Agreed. No one likes to give their hard earned money to the government, but if one must, I like to know that my money is going to something worthwhile. And, not wasting it, for example, on certain companies that the administration knows up front, that it’s going to fail,but still gives it to them anyway..

Static21 on October 13, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Warren Buffett’s billion in back taxes is merely 1/4000th of the amount the President has charged to the account since taking office.

unclesmrgol on October 13, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Oh, how I love this. :)

Bob's Kid on October 13, 2011 at 2:34 PM

‘Occupy Wall Street’ to resist park cleanup
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65892.html

He said the demonstrators could return once the park was cleaned, as long as they abide by basic park rules, such as the ban on tents and sleeping bags. But protesters say the cleaning is just a scheme by officials to force them out of Zuccotti Park permanently — and some are pledging to resist any attempts by police and workers to come into the park.

They’re going to resist any attempts by the NYPD to come into the park?

Man, I hope they get this on video. By which I mean “Get a OWS idiot swinging at a cop AND the ensuing beatdown”.

teke184 on October 13, 2011 at 2:38 PM

OT – this looks like trouble:
‘Occupy Wall Street’ to resist park cleanup
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65892.html
Colbyjack on October 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM
Looks like white ash massages are back on the menu, boys!

ya2daup on October 13, 2011 at 2:18 PM

ya2daup:Lol,heres sumpin distrubing,regarding OWS!
======================================================

NewTone: Occupy Wall Street Flea-baggers Now Issuing Public Death Threats
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
*****************************

This is a fight for freedom, my friends. It’s a fight for your way of life, your property, your loved ones. If one of the “99 percent” thinks this way, you can bet your ass many more do.

Prepare yourself.
====================

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2011/10/newtone-occupy-wall-street-flea-baggers.html

canopfor on October 13, 2011 at 2:41 PM

If this results in any filers, particularly the elderly, accidentally flushing money down the drain, make Thune and Scalise compensate them out of their own pockets.

The tax code already has enough gimmicks and jokes in it, without this publicity stunt.

Christien on October 13, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Buffett will only give more if a gun is put to his head and all the other “rich” people like him who make over $200,000 a year. Never mind that he makes about 1000 times that amount, it’s all the same to him. Of course, he’ll get a lot of those extra taxes back as money keeps flowing to all the rent seeking businesses he operates that rely on market distorting government policies.

RadClown on October 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Just so you know, they have to print out almost all new IRS forms every year anyways. Apparently, the IRS never realized they can just have a blank field that reads “Year”.

jeffn21 on October 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Tina is having a bad week: first the posting of a You Tube video of Paul Ryan that nobody can see (when are you gonna fix it?) and now she doesn’t know that the tax forms are changed every year. :)

Old Fritz on October 13, 2011 at 2:50 PM

You know, I wish they would bring back War Bonds or devise a mechanism so we could give extra specific to the military — one of the few Constitutionally solid areas our tax money should go to. If I knew extra that I had would go only to national defense and our service people, I would be OK with that.

Mutnodjmet on October 13, 2011 at 3:09 PM

I would have added “By checking this box, you agree that the amount of your donation will be made public.”

Otherwise, it’s just more BS.

SickofLibs on October 13, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Would such donations to the IRS be considered tax deductible?

Blacklake on October 13, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Brilliant.

They need to make sure the total donated is published in the IRS tax statistics each year. We’ll see how generous folks are.

BacaDog on October 13, 2011 at 4:19 PM

It wouldn’t cost more to print the forms, not because the tax code changes so much, but because some heavenly bureaucrat keeps changeing the number of the year.

Actually, I think it is a good idea. I think they should also allow a line for several seleclted branches of government, They already do this for matching federal election funds. They could have a line to pay down the national debt; a line to assist social security/medicare; a line to fund special bonuses for IRS agents and other bureaucrats; and I bet there are many other good causes.

Old Country Boy on October 13, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Tell Warren Buffett STFU and make a payment at this location: https://www.pay.gov/paygov/forms/formInstance.html?agencyFormId=23779454

Go ahead, Warren, there is nothing stopping you…

patch on October 13, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Gee, where have I read this idea time and time again? Hmmm…glad somebody at the RNC reads the comments at Hotair

TheBigOldDog on October 13, 2011 at 8:17 PM

I am all for this. The cost is negligible for the value, especially taking into account the fact that nearly every tax preparer and non 1040ez filer uses a computerized filing that can be updated with a software patch.

Jones Zemkophill on October 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM