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GOP hopefuls dismiss 'Buffett Rule'

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GOP White House hopefuls responded in a familiar fashion Monday to President Obama’s latest deficit reduction plan, rejecting the notion of raising taxes and suggesting the commander-in-chief doesn’t have a clue when it comes to getting the nation’s fiscal house in order.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were quick to criticize the president’s plan, which has been dubbed the “Buffett Rule,” after billionaire-investor Warren Buffet.

It calls for $3 in new tax increases for every dollar in additional spending cuts, with a chunk of the new revenue coming from raising taxes back to Clinton-era rates on the top income brackets.

“President Obama’s plan to raise taxes will have a crushing impact on economic growth,” Mr. Romney said in a news release. “Higher taxes mean fewer jobs — it’s that simple. This is yet another indication that President Obama has no clue how to bring our economy back.”

Rep. Ron Paul’s camp said Monday that Mr. Obama’s plan would “do nothing to combat joblessness or reduce the crushing debt.”

“Instead of raising taxes, this administration should cut corporate welfare, foreign welfare and end the trillion dollars overseas wars by bringing troops home,” said Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. “These would be sound policy actions, the kind that create prosperity and engender greater freedom.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann, meanwhile, said the administration should push to allow for the repatriation of American money overseas, reform the tax code so it is fairer and flatter on all Americans, and get rid of job killing regulations, including on the energy sector.

“If Warren Buffett believes he doesn’t pay enough taxes, then he should write a check today to the Treasury, but he and the president shouldn’t enact warfare on the millions of small businesses, on charities and on middle class America with increased tax burdens,” she said.

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