Buffett rule works for millennials, poll finds

Under-30 set say wealthy should put a higher tax rate than middle-income earners

Sep 23, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

By Lavonne Kuykendall

They say youth is wasted on the young. Maybe so, but that's about the only perk they get, according to the under-30 crowd.

Indeed, the so-called millennial generation increasingly feels as if it is getting the short end of the stick in the current economy, according to under-30 advocacy group Our Time.

The group said that its members overwhelmingly support the so-called Buffett rule, proposed by President Obama to ensure that people making more than $1 million a year do not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.

A Facebook survey conducted by Our Time over the last week found that 80% of 147 members surveyed “strongly support” the Buffett rule, which is named after billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, who said recently that he should be expected to more in income taxes than he does.

The measure, if passed, would ensure that filers with incomes of $1 million or more would pay a higher tax rate than middle-income earners. Only 13 of the respondents voted against the rule, and another 13 said they favored a 15% flat tax on businesses and individuals, with no loopholes. One voter questioned the whole idea. “Buffett's worth is all in unrealized gain, so his averages are BS,” that voter said.

Visitors to Our Time's Facebook page have expressed their sense of feeling responsible for fixing the country's problems.

Member Jessica Fahey posted: “Our generation has to get ‘mad as hell' about how our country is being run and realize that it is us who are going to need to do something about it.”

Mathew Segal, president and co-founder of the 5,000-member Our Time, is firmly on the side of the Buffett-rule fans.

“We have to put more into the system to minimize our deficit,” he says. “Our membership is a group of Americans who have grown up watching the expanding divide between the megarich and those struggling to pay their bills.”

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