Biden to Coin ‘Romney Rule’

Posted April 12, 2012 at 8:06am

Updated: 12 p.m.

After renaming the “Buffett Rule” the “eagan Rule,” the White House is now taking aim at the “Romney Rule.”

Vice President Joseph Biden will coin the term “Romney Rule” in a speech today, taking a direct shot at the presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, according to advance excerpts released by the president’s re-election campaign. It’s a fitting capstone to the first official week of general election politicking about the tax breaks enjoyed by the wealthy.

“The Buffett Rule says that multimillionaires should pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle-class families do,” Biden will say. “The Romney Rule says the very wealthy should keep the tax cuts and loopholes they have and get an additional, new tax cut every year that is worth more than what the average middle-class family makes in an entire year.”

Biden will rip Romney for proposing “another $250,000 in tax cuts to the average millionaire. … These are tax cuts to people who didn’t ask for them, who don’t need them, and who know the nation can’t afford them.”

The speech marks a shift from stumping specifically for the relatively modest Buffett Rule in ostensibly “official” White House events to making a pitch for the broader fall campaign as a “stark choice” of more tax cuts for the rich or rolling back the ones they already have. The ramped-up rhetoric comes in advance of a Senate vote next week on the Buffet Rule.

Rather than the $47 billion the Buffett Rule would raise, Biden pitched the choice as a $2 trillion one — $1 trillion to keep the existing Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy and another $1 trillion in new tax cuts he said Romney is proposing for the top 1 percent.

“Middle-class Americans are willing to stand up and do their part,” Biden will say. “But they don’t want to be played for a sucker.”

The Romney campaign has defended its tax plan, saying it can lower the top tax rate while roughly keeping the same level of progressivity in the tax code by eliminating tax loopholes that largely go to the wealthy. However, the plan is shy on details on how that would be accomplished.

The Romney campaign pushed back with a rule of its own — the “Obama Rule.”

“In the fourth year of his term, President Obama has made no serious effort to reduce our country’s debt and deficits,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email. “Now, in an election year, he is using transparent political gimmicks to try and distract Americans from their failure to control spending and put Americans back to work. Instead of the Buffett Rule, the real issue is the Obama Rule, which is President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on American families and small businesses to grow government and stifle free enterprise.”