Obama: You know, when you think about it, the Buffett Rule is really more of a “Reagan Rule”

posted at 8:35 pm on April 11, 2012 by Allahpundit

Three days, three presidential speeches on this ridiculous gimmick. I can’t take much more, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel: O seems sluggish here, a sign that he’s tired and apt to give it a rest tomorrow or that he’s grown as bored with this subject as the rest of us. Sweet relief either way.

If you read this post, though, then you know instantly what he’s up to. If the goal is to frame Romney as a wingnut gone wild, then why stop at comparing him to Barry Goldwater? Why not claim that he and the rest of the GOP are actually far to the right of Ronald Reagan himself? And who cares if you have to take Reagan out of context to do it? Philip Klein:

If you translate Obama’s words, what he’s really saying is that he wants people to keep less of their hard-earned money so that additional money will be available for him to spend on welfare state programs and more Solyndras.

Obama’s failure to acknowledge this distinction was hammered home in the same speech, when he suggested renaming the Buffett Rule the “Reagan Rule.” His remarks followed up on a video clip posted by the liberal group ThinkProgress in which Reagan, in a 1985 speech on the tax code, told a story about an executive paying a lower tax rate than his secretary.

Yet Reagan told the story as part of a larger pitch for tax reform. Unlike Obama, Reagan was interested in targeting loopholes so that he could lower rates, to allow people to keep more of their own money.

“Lower, flatter tax rates will give Americans more confidence in the future,” Reagan said in the speech referenced by Obama. “It’ll mean if you work overtime or get a raise or a promotion or if you have a small business and are able to turn a profit, more of that extra income will end up where it belongs — in your wallets, not in Uncle Sam’s pockets.”

Needless to say, O’s not trying to close loopholes for the rich as a revenue offset to lower, flatter rates. He’s closing loopholes as a prelude to letting the Bush tax cuts on the rich expire, which is itself a prelude to letting the Bush tax cuts on the middle class expire once he and his party work up the nerve to have a talk with the public about what’s required to pay for a modern entitlement state. In fact, if it’s loopholes you’re worried about, raising rates is one of the worst ways to go about closing them. As the Journal notes, once lobbyists go to work on Congress, the Buffett Rule will become the Buffett Rule plus dozens of specific exemptions:

The Buffett tax would only make loopholes more valuable. The White House has already carved out one exception to its own Buffett rule: charitable donations. So a billionaire could avoid the 30% effective tax rate by giving away millions of dollars—say, the way Mitt Romney so generously does…

The Buffett rule is really nothing more than a sneaky way for Mr. Obama to justify doubling the capital gains and dividend tax rate to 30% from 15% today. That’s the real spread-the-wealth target. The problem is that this is a tax on capital that is needed for firms to grow and hire more workers. Mr. Obama says he wants an investment-led recovery, not one led by consumption, but how will investment be spurred by doubling the tax on it?

The only investment and hiring the Buffett rule is likely to spur will be outside the United States—in China, Germany, India, and other competitors with much more investment-friendly tax regimes.

Bad economics, but luckily economics aren’t the point. The point is reelection, which is why this is coming up for a vote in the Senate that’ll surely fail but which will hand the Democrats a few more days of talking about rich people like Mitt Romney robbing you blind. Mind-bogglingly ironic exit quotation: “If you don’t have a record to run on, then … you make a big election about small things.”

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So this guys strategy is, I’m gonna tax millionaires 30%. Vote for me. Wow, that’s brilliant.

newportmike on April 11, 2012 at 11:55 PM

arnold ziffel on April 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM

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viking01 on April 12, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Obama’s remarks are disappointing but not unexpected…

He needs to stop comparing or contrasting anything to Ronald Reagan… PBHO isn’t in his league…

Khun Joe on April 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM

viking01 on April 12, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Thanks very much for the kind words. Any info you ever need I’ll be glad to give you what I know.

arnold ziffel on April 12, 2012 at 1:10 AM

Reagan’s rule?

What a completely unsane jackass Obama is!

If anything it is Lenin’s Rule – the first step towards outright confiscation and the gulag!

Up yours Barry!

insidiator on April 12, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Obama says this in front of an audience that “hates” Ronald Reagan? Is this just a sound-bite for TV? NOBODY will believe that statement.

RADIOONE on April 12, 2012 at 8:13 AM

You know, when you think about it, the Buffett Rule is really more of a “Reagan Rule”

Where “think” = “doublethink”.

farsighted on April 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Why not just use his words against him? Granted, you have to take him out of context, but he started that.

Just tell everyone that what he meant by this is that we should have a flatter tax system with lower overall rates. That’s what Reagan was saying, and obama referenced that very speech.

Sure, we’d be lying about what obama actually meant, but he kinda started that as well now didn’t he.

So now we can claim that obama is for lower taxes. Hell, let’s just go all in and say he’s for lower taxes on millionaires and billionaires!!!

See how much his base loves that.

runawayyyy on April 12, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Is this Obama a tool or what? Is he a marxist? Of course he is. Does he have a chip on his shoulder for White people? Of course! Does he hate the America that gave him the opportunities to rise to the Oval Office? You bet! Is he destroying America and exacerbating race relations? Duh? All these are valid reasons to dump him, but for me it’s now getting personal. The sight of him on my TV is nauseating and his alternating fake southern accent and his vapid Harvard cadence are like fingernails on a blackboard. Can we still say blackboard or is that now “racist”?

To the tune of the Four Seasons’ “Bye Bye, Baby”, on election day let’s all sing “Bye Bye, Barry, Barry Goodbyeee”.

SpiderMike on April 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Reminds me of something Jonah said last year: the only good conservative is a dead conservative.

The point isn’t that liberals were wrong to oppose every Reagan policy. But what they seem to ignore is that those policies were the products of a political philosophy. Sure, he made pragmatic compromises, but he started from a philosophical position that the self-anointed smart set considered not just wrong, but evil or stupid or both. The Media Research Center has issued a lengthy report chronicling countless journalistic examples, but my favorite is probably comes from Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London, which in 1982 held a vote for the most hated people of all time. The winners: Adolf Hitler, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Dracula.

pt on April 12, 2012 at 12:22 PM

yep…when I think “Ronald Reagan”….I think Li’s bammie….cuz they’re EXACTLY the same and stuff.

Tim_CA on April 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Seriously….who’s he trying to fool with this nonsense? It offends conservatives, and liberals HATE Reagan.

What am I missing?

Tim_CA on April 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

President Obama admits it: His proposed “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires is a gimmick. “There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,’ ” Obama declared Wednesday. “Well, I agree.”

easyt65 on April 12, 2012 at 2:49 PM

So he’s bringing the top rate of 70% down to 35%? He’s cutting taxes in half for the richest Americans?

Oh… he meant the imaginary Reagan in his head… not the one who was President? Yeah, that’s not a surprise is it?

gekkobear on April 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

President Obama has created a website to see how much the Buffett Rule would impact you. However, it is completely a LIE!

As an example, I put in info for a typical family of 4 with a gross income of $65,000. The website says that I pay 15.1% in income taxes.
Then I went ot the IRS website and calculated my taxes. I would have the standard deduction of $11,600 and the 4 exemptions for $14,800, which leaves a taxable income of $38,600. From the tax tables the actual tax is $4,936 or 7.5%.

So the Obama website doubles the actual tax rate.

phxrising on April 12, 2012 at 4:23 PM