President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the US middle class deserves tax cuts, while people with incomes above $1 million per year should pay at least 30% in taxes."Congress needs to make the Buffet rule a reality," the president said. "This is common sense. If you make more than $1 million a year, you should pay a tax rate of at least 30%."
The Buffet rule was inspired by the complaints of billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who said last year that he is taxed at a lower rate than his secretary.
In his speech, Obama thanked citizens who brought pressure to bear so that an agreement could be achieved in Congress between Democrats and Republicans to extend the payroll-tax cut for 160 million workers.
The president said that Congress should not stop there and now has to approve a law so that the victims of the mortgage bubble can refinance their debt, given that banks are now enjoying historically low interest rates.
He also called for measures to support small and medium businesses who want to export their products instead of favouring those who send their production operations offshore.
Obama, who is seeking re-election in November, urged Americans to continue pressuring their representatives in Congress to make advances in the economy and improvements for the working class.
"Americans do not have the luxury of putting off tough decisions," he said. "There is a lot more we can do if we want to build an economy where every American can have a chance to find a job."