Obama: Maybe We Could Call it the “Reagan Rule”

President Obama recently invoked the greatest hero of the conservative movement in calling for Congress to pass his tax-raising “Buffett Rule,” saying that the measure could be renamed the “Reagan Rule.”

Obama, who spoke this morning at the White House, taunted conservatives as extremists who have strayed even from Ronald Reagan in opposing the Buffett Rule, which puts a floor under millionaires’ taxers and was inspired by Buffett’s comment that he had paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Obama noted that Reagan had once expressed outrage over a millionaire paying a lower rate than a bus driver. Obama said:

That wild eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior was Ronald Reagan . . . If it will help convince folks in Congress to make the right choice, we could call it the Reagan Rule instead of the Buffett Rule.

But Reagan at the time was calling for Congress to close tax loopholes and was campaigning for passage of the 1986 tax reform act, which was designed to be revenue neutral. In exchange for taking away the loopholes, the law, which Reagan ended up signing, lowered the top federal income tax rate for the wealthiest from 50 percent to 28 percent.

By contrast, Obama’s Buffett Rule would raise taxes, mandating that millionaires pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent. This would raise taxes for some, especially those whose earnings are largely derived from investments taxed at a lower rate than income.

Editor’s Note: this article was originally published 4/11/2012 and has been slightly modified for content

Keith Koffler


Award winning journalist Keith Koffler has 16 years of experience covering Washington. As a reporter for CongressDaily, National Journal magazine, and Roll Call, Keith wrote primarily from the White House, covering three presidents and learning as few have the intricacies of the West Wing and the behavior and motivations of its occupants. While mainly stationed at the White House, he also extensively covered Congress and Washington’s lobbyists. Keith has also written for a variety of other publications, including Politico, The Daily Caller, and The London Observer. He currently writes regular opinion columns for Politico. He blogs at whitehousedossier.com.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Poppiexno

    The picture of RR at the lead in to the article is truly striking. Is it possible to get a print copy?

  • Editor

    It’s great, isn’t it? It’s by J. Lawrence Lind, but I don’t know where to obtain a print, unfortunately. Good luck!

  • Poppiexno

    I spent quite some time searching for him on the internet without success other than seeing the painting on a few other sites. Mysterious fellow. By the way, I enjoyed your article.


  • GDog Slim

    Reagan Lowered Capital Gains taxes to 15%. Osama Obama wants to DOUBLE TAXES on capital gains, (invested income) to 30 %  Buffett owes $ 1 Billion in taxes to the IRS.
    It should be called the Democrats War on Workers rule.

  • cquestr

    Dear President Obama,
    Back in the 80’s, when you were busy learning how to be a community organizer, Ronald Reagan was our president.

    In 2012 you have come up with the brilliant concept of the Buffet Rule…stick to calling it the Buffet Rule. It has nothing remotely to do with President Reagan’s philosophy.

    Recalling the Lloyd Bentsen/Dan Quayle debate…”We knew and loved Ronald Reagan. You, sir, are no Ronald Reagan.”

    Don’t even try to go there. 

  • Dave Amick

    Please read Charles Krauthammer’s article in today’s secular newspaper.  It’s about the “Buffet Rule” and the rediculousness of this president to lower his deficit.  His Buffet or Regan Rule would generate 4 to 5 billion a year.  It would take 250 years to attempt to recover his deficit for 2011 alone.  Who does Obama surround himself with?  They can’t be too smart.  They must love to play with our emotions.