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Obama Takes His Tax-the-Rich Speech to a Rich Zip Code Obama Takes His Tax-the-Rich Speech to a Rich Zip Code

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Economy / ECONOMY

Obama Takes His Tax-the-Rich Speech to a Rich Zip Code

photo of Niraj Chokshi
April 10, 2012

When President Obama delivered his "Buffett Rule" speech on Tuesday afternoon calling for a minimum tax on the wealthy, he did so in a zip code where three of four people earn $200,000 or more in taxable income, according to the latest Internal Revenue Service data.

Obama called for a minimum effective tax rate of 30 percent on those making more than $1 million a year at Florida Atlantic University. That's in Boca Raton, Florida, 33431 -- a zip code in which 76 percent of those filing in 2008 had the highest amount of taxable income the IRS tracks. In Boca more broadly, 14 percent of households had income at or above $200,000, according to 2010 Census data, compared to 4 percent nationally.

The peculiar logistical decision makes sense in context, however: The Boca Raton speech is sandwiched between campaign events in Palm Beach Gardens, Hollywood, and Golden Bear, Florida. Forty-four percent of voters in Palm Beach County, home to Boca Raton, are registered Democrats, compared to 29 percent registered Republicans, according to the County Supervisor of Elections website.

 

Republicans have called the policy proposal, named after billionaire Warren Buffett, class warfare, while Democrats say it's merely about fairness.

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