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Buffett Rule tax would lower deficit less than 1 percent

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Congress’s official tax scorekeepers said late Tuesday that a Buffett Rule tax like the one President Obama has called for would raise about $47 billion over the next decade — less than 1 percent of the deficits Mr. Obama’s spending plans would lead to.

Mr. Obama has made his call for increased taxes on the rich a key part of his election-year policies, and the Buffett Rule tax — named for billionaire Warren Buffett’s demand that he pay at least as high a tax rate as his secretary — has become a centerpiece of the White House plan.

Mr. Obama included it in his 2013 budget, which he submitted last month.

Senate Democrats also introduced the Buffett Tax as a stand-alone bill.

The Joint Committee on Taxation, the bipartisan arm of Congress that calculates tax revenue estimates, said the tax would raise $46.7 billion over the next decade. That is less than 1 percent of the $6.4 trillion in deficits Mr. Obama’s budget will notch over the next 10 years, according to a score of the budget released by the Congressional Budget Office last week.

The Buffett Rule would impose a minimum 30 percent tax on individuals with incomes of $500,000 or couples with incomes of at $1 million or more.

The $47 billion figure is actually revised upward. On Monday JCT had said the Buffett Rule tax would raise only slightly more than $30 billion over the next decade.

But late Tuesday the committee issued a new analysis saying it had not properly adjusted its models to account for how investors would respond to the law.

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