President Obama believes that his effective federal tax rate requires him to pay less than his fair share -- but the White House also believes it is inappropriate to ask the president to write a check making up the difference voluntarily.
"People like the President should not be able to -- the tax code should not written in a way that allows for -- for the wealthiest Americans to pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-class Americans," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters today.
Earlier this week, Carney impugned the "classiness" of people who propose that wealthy citizens who (as Obama does) believe they aren't paying enough should voluntarily send a check to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
"Another real classy charge is the idea that, well, wealthy Americans who feel like paying their fair share . . . have the option of doing it themselves by writing a check," he said derisively to reporters last week. "Think what that says to middle-class American families who are trying to get by, who are paying their taxes and paying at a rate higher than Warren Buffett."
Carney also made clear today that Obama is not, by their estimation, paying his fair share. "The President believes we must reform our tax system which is why he has proposed policies like the Buffett Rule that would ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share," Carney wrote on the White House blog today. "Under the President’s own tax proposals . . he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it."