State of the Union to be attended by Buffett secretary Debbie Bosanek

GlobalPost

Debbie Bosanek, the secretary to billionaire investor Warren Buffett who is so often cited as an example of unfair tax collection in the U.S., will attend tonight’s State of the Union address with the family of President Barack Obama, according to The Associated Press.

Buffett, a political ally of the president, has often complained that despite his wealth he pays taxes at a lower rate than Bosanek, his secretary.

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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has suffered a rising level of embarrassment in recent days for his elaborate efforts to avoid paying taxes. His recently released tax returns show that he and his wife Ann paid an effective tax rate of only 13.9 percent in 2010 on a gross adjusted income of $21.6 million, according to The New York Times.

Reuters reports that Obama is to deliver tonight’s address in “starkly populist terms” and to emphasize tax inequality that he says disfavors the middle class.

Other guests according to the AP include Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Apple Inc cofounder Steve Jobs; Adam Rapp, a cancer survivor who has reportedly benefited from the president’s signature health care overhaul legislation; Mark Kelly, the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who narrowly survived a shooting rampage a year ago, and Admiral William McRaeven, the US Navy SEAL who commanded the raid to assassinate Osama bin Laden.

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In a video preview of tonight’s address seen by Reuters, Obama was quoted as saying the US faced a stark choice between progressive taxation and greater inequality.

"We can go in two directions," he was quoted as saying. "One is towards less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for where I think we need to go: building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few."
 

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