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Camp Floor Statement: H.R. 6410, The Buffett Rule Act of 2012

September 19, 2012

I rise today in support of H.R. 6410, a bill to provide a simple way for individuals to voluntarily donate funds to pay down the national debt.

Under current law, you can contribute to debt reduction.  But like all things with the IRS, it isn’t easy.  If you dig deep into the 189 pages of instructions that accompany the 1040, you will find on page 88 the following: “Do not add your gift [to reduce debt held by the public] to any tax you may owe.”  To contribute to deficit reduction, one must send a separate check or money order to the Bureau of Public Debt, or they can go online to the website and use a credit card.   

So, Warren Buffet, who says he wants to pay more in taxes to pay down our debt, cannot actually do so when filing his taxes.  

H.R. 6410, however gives Mr. Buffett and generous Americans like him a simple, easy way to help pay down our debt.  This legislation adds to appropriate tax forms a box with the caption: “By checking here, I signify that in addition to my tax liability (if any) I would like to donate the included payment to be used exclusively for the purpose of paying down the national debt.”

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that H.R. 6410 reduces the public debt by $135 million over 10 years.  It makes it easy for those who want to donate money to the Treasury for debt reduction to voluntarily do so, without raising taxes on entrepreneurs and job creators.  

So, if Warren Buffett wants to give, then H.R. 6410 allows him to give to his heart’s content, and the payments will go directly to an account at the Treasury dedicated exclusively to debt reduction.

Mr. Speaker, it is not enough to speak in political platitudes about what we can do to reduce our debt.  Now you can put your money where your mouth is.  I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in passing this legislation.