State of the Union: The Buffett Rule Returns Along with Buffett's Secretary
There are always lots of secretaries in attendance at the State of the Union. High-ranking officials like the Secretary of State, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Defense and the rest of the President's cabinet traditionally attend. This year Warren Buffet's secretary will be there too.
That's right, a special guest of President Obama at this year's State of the Union address, sitting in the box reserved for First Lady Michelle Obama, will be Debbie Bosanek, aka Warren Buffet's secretary, who the billionaire investor famously says pays a higher tax rate (as a percentage of her income) than he does.
President Obama intends to make a renewed push for what he calls the Buffett Rule in his State of the Union address, on the very day Republican contender Mitt Romney released his millionaire tax returns showing he paid a lower rate than many Americans.
"Billionaires should not pay a lower effective tax rate than the middle class. He'll talk about details tonight," Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tells ABC News. Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and supporter of President Obama's, has stated that he should not pay a rate lower than his own secretary.
Pfeiffer says that secretary, Bosanek, will be seated with Michelle Obama this evening, listening to the address from the first lady's box in the gallery.
Tax fairness will be the central theme of the president's third State of the Union address. Pfeiffer says it comes down to American values.
"We can make sure everyone is being responsible, everyone is playing by the same set of rules. And the system both on Wall Street and in Washington is not being rigged at the expense of middle-class and working class Americans."
After the speech, the president follows tradition and takes his arguments on the road to settings which illustrate his priorities.
"On Wednesday, he's going to talk about manufacturing," Pfeiffer says of the first stops in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Phoenix, Arizona. "How we can discourage outsourcing and encourage ' insourcing' in this country so jobs are created here. On Thursday, [in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Denver, Colorado] he's going to talk about how a new era of American energy can create jobs here at home and make America more secure. And then on Friday in Michigan he's going to talk about how we can make college affordable because right now a college degree e is a critical gateway to success."