Obama Re-Opens Door on 'Buffett Rule'

President says nation's top earners should pay a 30 percent tax rate on income.
6:30 | 01/24/12

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Transcript for Obama Re-Opens Door on 'Buffett Rule'
Now return. To -- American values of fair play. And shared responsibility. Will help. Protect our people and our -- But it should also guide us as we look to pay down our debt. And invest in our future. Right now are most immediate priority is stopping a tax site on a 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile. People cannot afford losing forty dollars out of each paycheck this year. There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let's agree right here right now. Notion side issues no drama. Past the payroll tax cut without delay. When it comes to the deficit. Regarding agreed to more than two trillion dollars in cuts in -- What we need to do more. And that means making towards us. Right now were poised to spend nearly one trillion dollars more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break. For the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Right now because of loopholes -- shelters in the tax code. A quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates spent millions of middle class households. Right now Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans aura. Do we want to keep our investments in everything else. Like education. And medical -- search. A strong military. And care for our veterans. Because -- more serious about paying down our debt we can't do both. The American people. Know what the right choice since. -- -- -- -- told the speaker of the summer. I'm prepared to make more reforms the rain and the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid. And strengthen Social Security so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for -- But in return. We need to change our tax code so that people like me an awful lot of members the congress. Pay our fair share of taxes. Tax reform should -- the -- world. If you make more than a million dollars a year. You should not pay less than 30% in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right Martin should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact if you're earning a million dollars a year you shouldn't get. Special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand. If you make under 250000. Dollars a year like 98%. Of American families. Your taxes shouldn't go up. You're the ones struggling. -- the ones who need relief. Now you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as a secretary in Texas. Most Americans would call that common sense. We don't begrudge. Financial success in this comfort. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes. Does not become great envy the rich. Is because they understand that when I get a tax break I don't need and the country can't afford. It either adds to the deficit. Or somebody else has to make up the difference. Like a senior on a fixed income. For a student trying to get through school. Or family trying to make ends meet. That's not right. Americans know that's not right. They know that this generation success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to -- up. And in the future of the country -- And they -- our way of -- only indoor. If we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That's how we'll reduce our deficit. Epson America built -- last.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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