DeMint to Obama: ‘There Aren’t Enough Warren Buffetts' to Solve National Debt

By Fred Lucas | January 26, 2012 | 5:08 PM EST

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) (AP Photo)

( – Taxing the wealthy is not going to solve the national debt, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) told after President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union Address.

Before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening Obama said, “Tax reform should follow the ‘Buffett Rule.’ If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.” Obama’s proposal is based on claims made by investor Warren Buffett that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Under the current tax code, the highest rate for investment income (capital gains) is 15 percent. The highest tax rate for wages is 35 percent. Thus, someone who makes a low wage income, but is wealthy from investment income, like Buffett, could pay a lower percentage in federal taxes than someone who earns less in wage income.

In his State of the Union speech, Obama did not provide details to his tax reform proposal but essentially called for raising the tax rate on investment income.

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This proposal would go nowhere towards addressing the $15-trillion national debt, said Sen. DeMint.

President Barack Obama delivering his State of the Union Address to Congress on Jan. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb)

“The irresponsible thing about the speech is he did not address the most pressing problem we have as a nation, and that is our debt,” DeMint told “He mentioned it as if it was a small problem and that Warren Buffett could solve it if we just tax him more.”

“There are not enough Warren Buffetts in the world that we could take all their money,” said DeMint. “The problem is spending -- not low taxes. Though the president added more spending tonight in his speech, it’s time we just take him to account. Hopefully there are enough Americans paying attention who know better. This president is driving our country into a ditch and we cannot afford four more years of what we heard tonight.”

DeMint faulted Obama for broken promises and expansive spending since becoming president in 2009.

“It’s clear to us we’re much worse off than we were $4 trillion ago,” DeMint said. “The president will add more debt than any president in history. He made a lot of promises in keeping unemployment down, growing the economy and jobs, and those just have not panned out.”