Don’t expect Obama to stop harping on the Buffett Rule anytime soon

posted at 12:46 pm on April 10, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Barack Obama is convinced that the Buffett Rule is a political winner — and he won’t stop talking about it. He and his team are sure that it casts him in a rosy glow — and that its light is harsh on millionaire Mitt Romney (as if Obama isn’t also a millionaire!).

The Senate will vote on the Paying a Fair Share Act Friday. Regardless of whether it passes there, it won’t pass the House. The Obama camp is counting on that Republican resistance:

Though the legislation is probably doomed in the Republican-led House even if it succeeds in the Senate, the White House believes the bill appeals to the public’s sense of economic fairness, a theme that Obama has sought to accentuate as he ramps up his reelection campaign in a sluggish economy.

The Obama campaign has been eager to paint the president as a champion of the middle class and cast his prospective GOP challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who earned a personal fortune as manager of a private equity firm, as out of touch with ordinary Americans.

“Republicans thus far, by and large, have not supported the idea that we should eliminate the capacity for hedge fund managers to pay taxes on their income at a remarkably lower rate than average Americans,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday. “The president thinks as a matter of fairness that we should do away with that and that millionaires and billionaires should pay at a rate that’s not lower than secretaries or other folks who are just trying to make ends meet.”

As a reminder, the Paying a Fair Share Act would require anyone earning at least $1 million a year to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. While the president touts it as a deficit-reduction idea, it would actually raise just $47 billion in new revenue, barely a dent in the $15.6 trillion debt.

Many liberals hit conservatives with the “hypocrite” label for opposing the Buffett Rule because it barely affects the deficit. Don’t conservatives supposedly like anything that reduces the deficit by any amount at all? The elimination of the slightest bit of waste, for example, counts with conservatives. Why don’t we like a slight tax increase on those most able to pay it?

We’re not hypocritical to criticize the president for the Buffett Rule for two reasons: (1) As The Washington Examiner’s Phil Klein recently pointed out, when we tout the elimination of waste, it’s usually for its own sake, not for the sake of deficit reduction, whereas the president repeatedly introduces the Buffett Rule as one of his principal ideas for shrinking the deficit and (2) We have good reason to suspect the Buffett Rule is just the beginning of Obama’s tax reforms and we know the final product of those reforms would be counterproductive for deficit reduction because the president would have subordinated the correct priority of economic growth to his priority of fairness. If the goal is deficit reduction, growth is most important.

The president thinks this rule appeals to Americans’ sense of “economic fairness,” but at least one crucial group of voters — swing independents — profess themselves unimpressed with measures that aim primarily at fairness. As more people grasp the importance of growth to both employment and deficit reduction, they’ll agree with those swing voters: The president’s priorities are off, especially in this economy.


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Always politics, no desire to solve problems. Zero leadership.

Chuck Schick on April 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The president thinks this rule appeals to Americans’ sense of “economic fairness,”

We’re All Socialists Now

Roy Rogers on April 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

My post from the headlines:

I’d like to propose we adopt the “Politician Rule”:

All members of Congress, the President, and anyone who is a political appointee confirmed by the Senate (includes judges) have to pay a SURTAX of five times the unemployment rate when it’s above 5% with no deductions possible.

It won’t do anything about unemployment, but it sure sounds FAIR doesn’t it?

wildcat72 on April 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

As a reminder, the Paying a Fair Share Act would require anyone earning at least $1 million a year to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.

Does that include capital gains, and money made from investments? Pretty sure Warren Buffet does not take in much in income (as defined by the income tax laws.)

Just more taxes on people who work hard and are successful. Pandering.

rbj on April 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM

“Fair Share Act.” Puh-leeze. Does anyone actually fall for this crap?

Cicero43 on April 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The Senate will vote on the Paying a Fair Share Act Friday

When they get over laughing about “fairness.” Zero is running on fumes if this is all he has. It’s an open admission that he has nothing left.

dogsoldier on April 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I heard the Buffet rule would only bring in $3 billion per year while our deficit is 1.4 trillion. Is that right?

If so, for those playing at home, that is $3 to pay for every $1,400 we borrow today.

Why are we letting this stooge get away with this lie?

earlgrey133 on April 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

When will the millionaire Commies in Congress pony-up? Lead by example, you walking hypocrites.

Oh, I forgot, when you walk, lock-step, with Obamuh, you lead from behind.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Obama wants the cake and eat it too, the charlatan and his capos, incl. the media.

Schadenfreude on April 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

There’s a Buffet rule now- it’s called the AMT at 28% and it doesn’t work.

Chuck Schick on April 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM

(2) We have good reason to suspect the Buffett Rule is just the beginning of Obama’s tax reforms and we know the final product of those reforms would be counterproductive for deficit reduction because the president would have subordinated the correct priority of economic growth to his priority of fairness.

I haven’t heard Obama call for stopping the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of the year. Everyone’s taxes will be going up if they expire.

Bitter Clinger on April 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Always politics, no desire to solve problems. Zero leadership.

Chuck Schick on April 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Yeah, it’s a slap in the face for Obama to be clowning around with this populist balderdash.

I mean, where would this new cash even fit into the Democrats’ budget? Oh, right, they don’t pass budgets anymore.

forest on April 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Get ready for it, it will be a variation on Rmoney™. Y’all thought I was just funning ya.

Bmore on April 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

“Fair Share Act.” Puh-leeze. Does anyone actually fall for this crap?

Cicero43 on April 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Sadly, yes. My parents and family do.

Bitter Clinger on April 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Speaking of millionaire commies

Clooney will host the president and about 150 supporters at the event on May 10 at his home in Los Angeles, California. If you think it will be cheap to get a chance to hobknob with an Oscar winner and a president, though, think again — tickets will run $40,000 each, with proceeds going to the Obama Victory fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.

Roy Rogers on April 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Republicans should start going after Warren Buffett.

Everytime Obama cites Buffett, Republicans should bring up Buffett’s firm Berkshire is in a battle for the IRS for hundreds of millions in back taxes

http://tinyurl.com/7m3dwkp

It exposes him for the hypocrite he is, Obama won’t be so eager to tie himself to a tax cheat

BradTank on April 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM

BradTank on April 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Could I have read somewhere once, No one ever wins on defense, or something close to that.

Bmore on April 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

BTW- Dow’s crashing due to “disappointing economic news”. So it’s down to Lilly Ledbetter for Obama.

Chuck Schick on April 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

When they get over laughing about “fairness.” Zero is running on fumes if this is all he has. It’s an open admission that he has nothing left.

dogsoldier on April 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

The race card and class envy, it’s all he’s got.

wildcat72 on April 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM

The day Obama does something useful for this country will be the first.

And that day will likely never arrive, unless he resigns.

NoDonkey on April 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM

There Hasn’t Been So Much Fire At The White House Since Dolley Madison Saved Some Of Our Most Cherished, National Treasures

Obama’s Buffett Rule: Would bring in $7.7 million per DAY, ceterus paribus.

Obama deficit spends: $4.3 billion per DAY.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

1) Come back to me when Warren Buffet has a) paid all his back taxes; and b) voluntarily paid “his fair share” (as defined by Buffet when speaking about Republicans).

2) This whole thing is ridiculously stupid.

Religious_Zealot on April 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Obama wanting Warren Buffett to pay his fair share means raising taxes on capital gains, since that is how many millionaires make their money (aside from distinguished authors who write novels about their fathers).

Mitt Romney just needs to explain it simply:

1. Warren Buffett is lying about paying less than his secretary, because they pay taxes on different things.
2. Explain that millionaires already pay taxes at a rate of over 30% on regaular income.
3. Explain that what Obama wants is to force a 30% tax rate on capital gains.
4. Explain to the average person that anyone who gets money from the “market,” will be in danger of paying more in taxes under the Obama rule.

If he does that, he wins the argument. Many people have assets that can be taxed at capital gains rates. If Obama raises the rate for millionaires, how soon before he pushes to raise it on everyone, arguing that capital gains should not be taxed at a lower rate than regular income.

But no, instead of focusing on this garbage, along with the other lies and blatantly stupid things that Obama says, he has to focus on defeating Rick Santorum, who has as much chance of winning the nomination as any of us do.

milcus on April 10, 2012 at 1:12 PM

The fact that this useless piece of garbage in the white house refuses to focus on things that matter and actually attempt to fix problems using (his lack of) common sense should be a wake up call to even the dumbest of liberals.

The sky should always stay above our heads, to be fair, so the idiotic left led senate ought to pass a law saying the sky should never fall. That’s about how productive the buffet rule baloney is.

The most productive thing dingy reid and marxist obama can do is move to china or russia. I’m sure they’ll appreciate their idiocy. Please though, if we’re shipping those idiots abroad we need to ship their true believers in socialism right along with them.

Wolfmoon on April 10, 2012 at 1:13 PM

What a joke!…Both Buffett and JugEars are wrapped in each other’s bowel!

KOOLAID2 on April 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

“Republicans thus far, by and large, have not supported the idea that we should eliminate the capacity for hedge fund managers to pay taxes on their income at a remarkably lower rate than average Americans,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

I wish some Republican with some stones would stand up and say ‘Jay Carney just gave me a great idea. I propose we tax the average American’s income at the same rate as hedge fund managers.’

DaveDief on April 10, 2012 at 1:17 PM

….and the surge in global warming is causing it to snow here in southeast Michigan again. Gosh, these cold temps are just heating the crap out of the planet. I can see the oceans rising from here.

Oh wait, that can’t happen can it! Obama promised the oceans would recede if he became president dictator.

Wolfmoon on April 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Romney needs to respond by asking Buffet to pay the $1 Billion he already owes in back taxes. That would be concise and make Bufffet look like the hypocrite he is.

magicbeans on April 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM

The purpose of the Buffet Rule is to paint Republicans as protective of the “rich” and supportive of “unfair” tax policies.

Even the marginally intelligent among the Dems and MSM know it will do next to nothing to reduce the deficit. But they won’t volunteer that fact. If the stupid and ignorant happen to draw the conclusion that the deficit is due to the Republicans’ refusal to “tax the rich fairly” the disingenuous Dems and MSM will not be the ones making sure that mistaken impression is corrected.

Promoting class envy and class warfare, encouraging racial division and strife and broad brushed charges of racism, and pushing the meme of a “Republican War on Women” are Obama’s primary campaign strategies.

Obama and the Dems have nothing else left to offer. It’s come to this.

This election will be a test of the stupidity, ignorance, and venality of the American electorate.

farsighted on April 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

So barry sends out a twiiter question soliciting ideas on how to spend the buffet tax money????

sorry, that makes me puke.

r keller on April 10, 2012 at 1:21 PM

“The Obama campaign has been eager to paint the president as a champion of the middle class…”

How are those gas prices working for you champ…?

… Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on April 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

0bama is bitterly clinging to his Green Technologies and Buffet Rule.

StubbleSpark on April 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I cannot wait until Romney pins this dumb idea on 0bama and makes him squirm for being so economically ignorant and mathematically incorrect.

StubbleSpark on April 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Can we please continue demanding to see Buffett’s assistant’s tax return???

blink on April 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I would be curious to see this too. If Obama is “campaigning” about her salary, I am curious what it is. Because something tells me she does not make 30k a year, and probably makes over 200k a year, thus making her a “corporate jet owner” in Obama’s delusional mind.

milcus on April 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Does the Paying a Fair Share Act include a provision which requires Obama to pay for his own vacations…and not allow him to collect a salary for over 2 weeks/year of vacation???

It’e only FAIR….

…and if we’re going to promote class envy, why should the political class be exempt??

landlines on April 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

So, you have this kid who won’t clean his room. He’s let it go for a few months. You keep telling him he needs to get it done. Maybe he says, “Get off my back; I’ll get to it.” OK, so now you put pressure on the kid. Maybe you’ll make him move in with his younger brother. Or maybe you’ll cut his allowance. Whatever. So the kid starts saying he’s going to start picking up his underwear. There are a jillion things on the deck and under his bed, and the filth from no sweeping or vacuuming is thick. But he’s seriously conteplating doing something! And he’ll remind you of this frequently.

Well, the POTUS says he’s going to do something! Bless his heart.

apostic on April 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Can we please continue demanding to see Buffett’s assistant’s tax return???

blink on April 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I don’t know how much she earns, but it is enough for her to afford to buy a second home in Arizona.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

The Obama campaign has been eager to paint the president as a champion of the middle class…

Is this the same guy that has been part of over 5 Trillion in new deficit spending?? As a result of this “new deficit spending,” the Reserve had to go through both QE1 and QE2 with QE 3 coming later this year. Since we are now “monetizing the debt” the middle class he is suppose to be championing is paying $4 for gas and our grocery bill is going through the roof each time we shop. Yes, making the dollar worth less and less is really helping out the middle class….NOT!!

ny59giants on April 10, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I don’t know how much she earns, but it is enough for her to afford to buy a second home in Arizona.

Resist We Much on April 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

With tennis courts.

Before anyone, middle-class or rich, or very rich, sends a dime to the gov’t, consider this, no matter what the Liar in Chief spews or claims.

Schadenfreude on April 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I’ll ask this for the 753rd time.

Has anyone, right of left (OK, leftist garbage can’t think, right then) thought this through as to how it will affect the municipal bond markets? This looks to me like our dumb@$$ in chief is about to collapse that market, taking away the chief tax advantage of buying munis in the first place.

Or am I just to pretend I’m armed with nothing more than an Ivy League Poli Sci degree and write off any thinking along those lines to new math nonsense?

MNHawk on April 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

And the Buffet rule will result in how many of the super-rich moving out of the U.S.? No group is more mobile and there CERTAINLY would be cash incentive into ‘buying’ citizenship elsewhere.

michaelo on April 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

So I’m guessing it’s a slam-dunk that the non1% dumbmasses on the left have been convinced to support this bcuz it’s about the rich paying their fair share. Yeah, and I’m waiting to see their support when Obama proposes taxes for them to start paying their fair share which will amount to the Ogubmint basically confiscating their entire paychecks.

stukinIL4now on April 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM

It’s too bad the sheeple can’t see through this straw man argument. Obama will skip over the tax table differences between 1099/W-2 and Cap gain income – a fundamental element to the tax code.

Obama is your local bank’s branch manager who literally steals the bank blind. And then he comes to you and says “I need more money to spend on better security to stop these thieves”.

It’s been said a million times. This country doesn’t have a revenue problem – it has a spending problem. If he wants to open the conversation about ‘fairness’, lets have it. But lets talk about what’s wrong with the 40-some-odd percent of people who don’t pay a dime, to have some liability? Oh… we can’t talk about them because that would be reverse-fairness, wouldn’t it? We only want to take it from the people that have the most, right?

And once you hit that ‘amount’, the government is just the people to redistribute it, aren’t they?

VietVet_Dave on April 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM

A progressive tax rate should be challenged as unconstitutional. It does not provide for equal protection under the law. We should all be paying the same percent in a flat tax. That would be fair to all, with no deductions.

Kissmygrits on April 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

There’s nothing fair about making everyone who earns a million or more–including both individuals and small businesses–pay higher taxes because one CEO has taken advantage of the tax system to pay a lower total bill than his secretary. If Buffett had an ounce of integrity, he’d never let his name be associated with something so blatantly fallacious.

Dee2008 on April 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Romney needs to keep pointing out that Obama’s big idea-the millionaire tax- will pay for about 5 days spending. He needs to say that over and over again. What about the other 360 days? If this is the best idea you’ve had in 4 years, you need to step down and let someone else take over.

talkingpoints on April 10, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Clearly, Romney can’t win the White House

Steveangell on April 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Obama must continue to steal from all productive citizens in order to satisfy the insatiable demands of his parasitic constituents, whose votes he is attempting to buy . . . it’s that simple.

rplat on April 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I decided it was time I finally read Atlas Shrugged. Wow, 50 years ago Ayn Rand hit the progressive nail on the head.

The total unfairness of “Social Justice” and “Economic Fairness” is what is destroying American prosperity.

The worst are the so called 1% liberal elites who don’t give much to charity, but want the rest of us who work for a living to give through the Big Govt. so it goes to liberal charities.

Ok, I’m just PO’d now…

kirkill on April 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

If Buffett had an ounce of integrity, he’d never let his name be associated with something so blatantly fallacious.

Dee2008 on April 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Agree, but he’s somehow an elite progressive anyway…

kirkill on April 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

the bill appeals to the public’s sense of economic fairness

For ‘economic fairness’ I’m reading ‘theft’.

What can one expect from a rabble rousing race baiting ‘organizer’? That’s his only card. Rabble rousing and looting in the name of ‘fairness’.

CorporatePiggy on April 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

“Paying a Fair Share Act”

Since when is paying 30% fair when compared to nearly half the nation paying ZERO percent (or even a negative percentage – getting money they didn’t pay in)?

sadatoni on April 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

People just need to show up at his events with the graph plastered to posterboards.

Murf76 on April 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Mr Romney should ask Obama during a debate “What is a fair share”.
The people who pay zero or the 10% that pay most. Is it fair to pay nothing and recieve government services? Is 30% fair?, 40%?, 80%? what is the magic number. That would force the electorate to realize that being fair isn’t the same as being equal and rebut this foolish rhetoric.

buckeyerich on April 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

and here’s the twitchy entry

http://twitchy.com/2012/04/09/twitter-tells-obama-what-it-thinks-potential-buffet-rule-revenue-should-go-towards/

r keller on April 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Looks to me like it pretty much backfired. Did you see all those retweets? ROFLOL

txhsmom on April 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM

There is a very simple response to Barack Obama and the Obama Party:

Pay your own taxes first.”

northdallasthirty on April 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Why don’t the Republicans just let it come to a vote in the House and then all vote “Present”. Make the Democrats choke on it. It won’t pass.

txhsmom on April 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Article 1

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Why can’t we get leadership that can read the U.S. Constitution?

digitsiam on April 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM

as if Obama isn’t also a millionaire!).

Ah, but Obama got his millions feeding off the public trough — big difference in his eyes.

Dark Star on April 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

OBlamer- Release Your Tax Records For the Last 23 Years!

OkieDoc on April 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM

If the Dems want to keep complaining about the tax rate not being fair, then ok let’s make it fair – 10% flat rate across the board for everyone and everything. That way nobody pays a lower rate – all fair.

However, I would personally prefer we go with the national slaes tax on consumption instead, and eliminate ALL income based taxes.

dentarthurdent on April 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

If Buffett had an ounce of integrity, he’d never let his name be associated with something so blatantly fallacious.

Dee2008 on April 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Agree, but he’s somehow an elite progressive anyway…

kirkill on April 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I have to wonder if there’s some kind of deal being made, -give us political support and we will have the IRS deal you a favorable ruling on that billion dollars of back taxes that you are fighting for.

slickwillie2001 on April 10, 2012 at 7:04 PM