Romney said he pays all his taxes and not a dollar more. The White House says this proves we need to change our tax code.
“I do think it raises a general point about our tax system here,” Senior White House Advisor David Plouffe told me on “GMA.”
“The point is we need to change our tax system. We need to make sure that middle class workers are not paying more in effective tax rates than people making $ 40, $50, $100 million a year. So we have rules of the road in place right now. I’m sure Mitt Romney tried to follow them. The question is we just need change in our tax code so that everybody is doing their fair share,” he added.
Plouffe said ensuring everyone pays their “fair share” is how the administration will grow a strong economy – a theme President Obama will highlight in tonight’s State of the Union address.
“One of the things the President is going to talk about in the State of the Union tonight is something Warren Buffett famously talked about is he should not pay less in taxes than his secretary does. The president, as you know, has talked about something called the Buffett Rule. We’re going to outline that specifically tonight, what that would mean,” Plouffe told me.
We should also expect a “very specific” economic blueprint on how to achieve a durable economy from Obama tonight, Plouffe said.
“It’s make or break for the middle class. We’re doing things to ensure more people get in the middle class. We’ve had 3 million jobs created over the last 22 months. We’re digging out of a huge hole so there’s a lot more work to do,” he said.
Obama is facing reelection amid tough poll numbers. According to ABC News’ latest poll the president’s approval rating stands at 48% and more than two-thirds people believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
But before Obama convinces voters to stay the course in November, Plouffe said they need to convince the American people and elected officials of “what’s the right thing to do this year on the economy.”
“I think if you look at what happened in ’08. We almost went into a great depression. We had an incredibly steep recession that caused all the job loss that caused a lot of pain to people. And that wasn’t an accident, it just didn’t happen. There was a reason for it,” Plouffe said. “And the question for the American people is do they want to go back to those policies, let Wall Street write its own rules, have tax and economic policy geared almost exclusively to the super wealthy, and not investing in the things we need to. Or what the president is going to lay out tonight which is a blue print for an economy that’s built to last, so that we don’t recover based on bubbles and financial instruments.”