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Clinton Says January Tax Proposals Will 'Go Beyond' Buffett Rule

Clinton Says She’ll Try to Implement ‘Buffett Rule’

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton will unveil proposals this month that will “go beyond the Buffett Rule” to raise the effective tax rates paid by the wealthiest Americans, she said Saturday.

“As president, I'll do what it takes to make sure the super-wealthy are truly paying their fair share,” Clinton said in a statement responding to the Internal Revenue Service's release of new data on tax rates paid by the 400 wealthiest U.S. households, which averaged 22.89 percent in 2013.

She called billionaire Warren Buffett's plan, which would set the minimum effective tax rate for those earning $1 million per year at 30 percent, “one idea that would help achieve greater fairness in our tax system.”

Since launching her campaign in April, Clinton has bemoaned what she sees as unfair tax policy, arguing it's wrong “when hedge fund managers pay a lower tax rate than truck drivers or nurses.” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, her leading rival for the Democratic nomination, uses similar rhetoric, though the accuracy depends on exactly what's being measured. 

Clinton hinted at the coming proposals during a December campaign stop in Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett endorsed her, saying then that she wanted to “go even further” than his idea.

In the statement, Clinton praised President Barack Obama for taking steps to push the effective tax rate for the wealthiest U.S. households higher in 2013, up from 16.72 percent in 2012.

“It's clear that those at the top are still gaming the system and leaving hard-working American families holding the bag,” she said. “A quarter of the very highest earning taxpayers, those earning more than $250 million per year on average, pay a federal income tax rate of less than 20 percent. That's not fair and it's not good for our economy, placing burdens on middle class families and holding back investments that would help us grow.”

Clinton has already put forward measures aimed at blocking corporate inversions and has vowed not to raise taxes on households making less than $250,000 annually.

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