Don’t fall into the Buffett Rule trap

posted at 12:16 pm on April 14, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

One conversation which cropped up last night centered on a distressing trend I’m seeing among conservatives, and one which was front and center on Hot Air’s pages yesterday from Allahpundit. There appears to be a growing tendency in Republican circles to blow off the results of the recent Gallup poll which showed that a very solid majority of voters favor the Buffett Rule by a nearly two to one margin. It’s true that the political will doesn’t exist to pass this into law right now, but that’s not the point at all. Even Obama doesn’t want this thing to pass. (More on that in a minute.)

The point(s) AP was trying to make seem to focus on two themes. First, there is the Jay Cost approach, which essentially says, “Yeah, but don’t worry. That’s not what swing voters really care about so it won’t matter.” He thinks Obama has a “lousy reelect strategy” so there’s no sense talking about it. This, to me, sounds like a combination of massively wishful thinking and whistling past the graveyard.

The second piece of “evidence” about voters’ feelings on the subject comes in the form of an online YouGov poll which showed that most regular folks wouldn’t want large lottery winnings taxed at a high rate. Leaving aside for the moment the sterling bona fides of “YouGov” as a national polling organization, that strange story actually has a fairly obvious – and completely opposite – lesson buried in it. If you ask lower and middle class workers about their views on lottery winnings vs. the ultra-wealthy, you’re going to get two very different sets of answers. Why?

Because against all logic, people who play the lottery still like to think there’s a chance that they might win. Or, failing that, that some friend of theirs might win. Or at least some other poor schlub out there who needs a lucky break. But if you ask them what the chances are that they’re going to be running a company like Bain Capital next year they’ll say zero. They actually think their odds of hitting the Lotto jackpot are better than becoming a Wall Street Fat Cat. And if they do hit the lottery, they don’t want all of their money taken away.

But back to Cost’s assertion, I think the GOP ignores this at their own peril. People are talking about it. The media is talking about it. Endlessly. The President is up on his bully pulpit hammering on it. The Vice President is working it like a rented mule. And they’re not going to stop.

This isn’t because they think it’s going to pass or because they believe it will fix anything. Even DNC cheerleader Greg Sargent – a guy so far out on the left wing that he could have Castro taking a second look at free market capitalism – is openly admitting that the bill wouldn’t raise enough money to amount to a rounding error on the national budget and that it’s as likely to pass as John Edwards is to make another run at the White House. But that was never the point. As I noted above, even Barack Obama doesn’t want this thing to pass. If it did, the bill would fall into history like the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Supporters would get a quick thrill up their legs and then it would be forgotten.

But if the GOP defeats the Buffett Rule, then Obama can keep talking about it straight through November. The Republicans wanted to make sure that people who earn as much as Mitt Romney pay a lower tax rate than you do! And…

IT’S NOT FAIR.

It’s a powerful message, and one which resonates with far too many people, as Gallup has repeatedly shown. Say what you will about the President’s performance in office, but the guy has a crack political team and he knows how to campaign. He’s holding on to a winning hand on this one and he knows it. And this tendency to pretend this isn’t going to be a campaign issue in the fall (particularly when he’s running against Mr. “How Many of Ann’s Cadillac Convertibles Can I Fit In My Car Elevator”) is disturbing. In terms of electoral strategies, it just looks like Obama is playing three dimensional chess and we’re playing tiddlywinks here.


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Then quit tripping us!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM

No, I’m not even going to try!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Promise!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Oh wait! JugEars is my President!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM

I CAN LIE!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

The Parrot Press will cover for me!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM

But! Then there is Hot Air!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Someone better get here!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

So then make the point that the reason is capital gains taxes, and those, in turns, are a second round of taxes on money that was taxed the first time as ordinary income. Or maybe even a third round because there’s corporate taxes too.

So, what’s not fair is that this tax is being done at all!!!!

FiveG on April 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

This can’t be happening again!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Thank you! Whew!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Thank you! Whew!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Take five, homes…we got this.

Jaibones on April 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM

well the I just give up. May as well just vote for Obama now.

Ampersand on April 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM

All ya can do is repeat what’s already known. The Buffet Rule is garbage and won’t solve anything.

It won’t make a damned bit of difference to the True Believers of the Obamassiah.

It’s the rest of the public that you have to educate.

GarandFan on April 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

The House Republicans should propose legislation to lower income tax rates to match the rate paid in capital gains. I wonder which “fairness” rule will poll higher?

Machiavelli on April 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

For the last 60 years we have been reinforcing the attitude that you can not make it on your own, the rich “lucked” into their wealth and you can not and will not ever be rich through efforts or hard work on your own. The lottery winning question shows this. There is still a chance you can win the lottery so of course they dont want their money taxed at the higher rate, but successful through hard work? Forget about it, those govt checks only go so far, so of course I want the evil rich taxed higher.
I agree that ignoring this issue is wrong, but the amount of re-education required to correct this thinking is daunting.

Koa on April 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Jaibones on April 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM

…I’ve always meant to ask…weren’t you a little PO’d that in the beginning…people kept confusing you with Jailbreak?…not even close! How insulting!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Jazz’s point may be exactly correct. I have been told the same by otherwise right-thinking Republican voters, who themselves are getting push-back against Republicans who fight this proposition.
We are fighting against an appeal to the most basic greed and envy driven voters, and we may lose.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I’m ordering my Obama Hoodie right now!

Curtiss on April 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM

But back to Cost’s assertion, I think the GOP ignores this at their own peril. People are talking about it. The media is talking about it. Endlessly.

I’d just simply go out, reject the whole notion to begin with, and assault the Dems for offering virtually nothing but a go-nowhere bill of idiocy… and the media for being complicit in this absurd non-debate debate. (Implying, to a degree, that they are using Alinsky tactics to stir up a wag-the-dog issue where none ever existed.)

We KNOW specially who in the media is propping this up, how, and why. Journ-O-List was a ‘teachable moment,’ no?

There really ought to be a total redirection of the debate over to overspending in a persistent recession ‘recovery’ (as dictated endlessly by the MSM) – and how our fiscal solvency is in great peril.

The President is up on his bully pulpit hammering on it.

Assail Obama for resorting to class envy and scare tactics four years removed from his original hopey-changey campaign.

The Vice President is working it like a rented mule.

Biden simply hangs himself with his own buffoonery. Rick Perry would demolish him in a debate, and that’s saying a lot.

He’s the one I’m least concerned about in this gang of thieves.

And they’re not going to stop.

That will happen regardless of how we react. Plain and simple. You can’t reason with a hard-core leftist ideologue.

Myron Falwell on April 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

The Reflubicans need to embrace the populist tripe of O’Bozo and get on the bandwagon. Pass a goofy tax on 400 people, but tie something serious to it.

O’Bonehead thinks he wants a “Fair Tax”? Give him one. And tie a balanced budget law to it, since O’Barfy thinks that The Buffett Rule is going to eliminate his endless trillion-dollar deficits. Put in automatic spending cuts on his multitude of welfare programs if somehow The Buffett Tax fails to produce $1.4 trillion in revenue.

Tie this thing around his scrawny neck like a millstone and let him give his next fairness speech from the Golden Gate bridge.

Jaibones on April 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

And this tendency to pretend this isn’t going to be a campaign issue in the fall (particularly when he’s running against Mr. “How Many of Ann’s Cadillac Convertibles Can I Fit In My Car Elevator”) is disturbing.

The average Joe and Jane, when you boil it all down, wants three things: We want our preacher’s moral, our sheriff’s honest, and our government fair.

I agree with Jazz, we ignore the Buffett Rule at our own peril. But, we can turn it on Obama my merely pointing out that if it’s such a good idea now, why didn’t he pass it when he had huge majorities in Congress his first two years? Millionaires and billionaires existed then as they do now, with their Cadillacs and Car Elevators to boot.

TXUS on April 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

The Senate version of the Buffett Rule actually increases the deficit. There must be some ammunition for an effective GOP rebuttal in there somewhere.

Curtiss on April 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

…I’ve always meant to ask…weren’t you a little PO’d that in the beginning…people kept confusing you with Jailbreak?…not even close! How insulting!

Tie this thing around his scrawny neck like a millstone and let him give his next fairness speech from the Golden Gate bridge.

Jaibones on April 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

…SEE what I mean!?

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

For the last 60 years we have been reinforcing the attitude that you can not make it on your own, the rich “lucked” into their wealth and you can not and will not ever be rich through efforts or hard work on your own. The lottery winning question shows this. There is still a chance you can win the lottery so of course they dont want their money taxed at the higher rate, but successful through hard work? Forget about it, those govt checks only go so far, so of course I want the evil rich taxed higher.
I agree that ignoring this issue is wrong, but the amount of re-education required to correct this thinking is daunting.

Koa on April 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

+1000.

However, I doubt that such re-integration of basic logic (the Left specializes in ‘re-education’ LOL ;) ) can ever actually happen to the degree that it needs to. The education system has been far too corroded with leftist dogma to ever be saved, and we let that happen, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Myron Falwell on April 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Romney and Obama are tied on Pollster average for first time

Obama’s war on cancer-surviving mothers of 5 with multiple sclerosis going great!

Chuck Schick on April 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

So then make the point that the reason is capital gains taxes, and those, in turns, are a second round of taxes on money that was taxed the first time as ordinary income. Or maybe even a third round because there’s corporate taxes too.

So, what’s not fair is that this tax is being done at all!!!!

FiveG on April 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

This +1000. I can’t understand why this point isn’t made more often. The so called “Buffet Rule” is targeting capital gains, not income. This is money that has already been taxed. How many times do we want to tax people’s money? What’s fair about that?

RedHotinNJ on April 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

This is a very, very easy game to win. Say you’ll support it with a Balanced Budget Amendment attached. That’s all. Just say, “Sure, Barack, but let’s balance the budget, too. You want a balanced budget, don’t you.” Oh, and call it the “American Family Act,” and then ask Barack, “You’re not opposed to the American family, are you?”

Play. To. Win.

Rational Thought on April 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Romney and Obama are tied on Pollster average for first time

Obama’s war on cancer-surviving mothers of 5 with multiple sclerosis going great!

Chuck Schick on April 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

“Page Not Found”

Del Dolemonte on April 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The lottery winnings analogy is fallacious. Lottery winnings are taxed as ordinary income, not capital gains.

The poll demonstrates that the majority of those polled have no qualms about raising taxes that they likely won’t ever have to pay. I doubt any of those polled would be directly affected by the Buffett Rule. And apparently they’re buying the “lower taxes never help the economy” argument. Ignorant fools.

Syzygy on April 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The House Republicans should propose legislation to lower income tax rates to match the rate paid in capital gains. I wonder which “fairness” rule will poll higher?

Machiavelli on April 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Brilliant. They could call it the “Warren Buffett’s Secretary Rule.”

Winnah!

Resist We Much on April 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

The correct response is this: “So you agree that you should be punished for being successful?”

northdallasthirty on April 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

The lottery winnings analogy is fallacious. Lottery winnings are taxed as ordinary income, not capital gains.

Syzygy on April 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Yup, a couple of winners in FL tried to pay capital gains taxes on their winnings to try and reduce their tax burden but the US Tax Court shot them down. 2006, I believe.

Del Dolemonte on April 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Interesting points, Jazz. I especially liked the approach you suggested in the article.

Oh, wait..

psrch on April 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Perhaps we should be asking exactly what “problem” the Buffet Rule will “solve”. It won’t fix the deficit. It won’t make the poor any richer. It will make the rich poorer. What is the problem the Buffet Rule will solve. Has Obama answered that question?

Meanwhile can they please change the name of the rule to a rich guy whose company actually PAYS their taxes?

earlgrey133 on April 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

In terms of electoral strategies, it just looks like Obama is playing three dimensional chess and we’re playing tiddlywinks here.

Oh spare me. This is one of the more tired/silly metaphors of the last several years. Obama isn’t operating on some higher plane than the rest of us; he’s actually pretty dumb.

That said, the Republicans would be foolish to outright oppose this Buffet nonsense. They should either go along with it, pointing out that it is an ineffectual gesture and not a serious solution to any problem that we have. Or they should up the ante, and attach a number of poison pill amendments (e.g., a 30-percent tax surcharge on Hollywood actors with more than $1 million in income on a film.) Or they could coopt this Buffet rule fairness crapola into a genuine tax reform proposal.

ghostwriter on April 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

They could call it the “Warren Buffett’s Secretary Rule.”

Resist We Much on April 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Out: Warren Buffett’s Secretary.

In: Baraka Obama’s Secretary.

Syzygy on April 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Myron Falwell on April 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

…Good work!

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The larger problem is that “equality” has been conflated with “fairness”. So long as this is the case, the groupthink will always gravitate towards collectivist homogeny.

We need to smash these memes and restore meaning to some words in our language, these individual steps toward socialism are just a symptom of how twisted social philosophy has become.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a solution other than waiting for the communists to destroy this society, admit failure, and put the focus back on “responsibility”, as with China.

bernverdnardo1 on April 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I think Boehner ought to bring it to the floor and House Repubs pass it. It’s virtually meaningless and it’s likely at least half of the 400 families affected by it are dem bundlers anyway.

So just pass the damned thing on to the Senate. There, Repubs just shouldn’t filibuster it. If the Senate dems want to pass it on up, they have the votes. Then Bozo can sign it.

Then it goes away as a talking point and Obama gets the legacy of higher taxes on the rich with no discernible beneficial result. History will look poorly on it as a political tactic. Warren Buffett’s name will forever be associated with “ruse”.

BKeyser on April 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The premise of this article is very dangerous. Jazz seems to assume that voters can not be persuaded that the Buffet rule goes against their best interests. Conservatism is not an ideology that avoids topics. It’s about presenting arguments and having discussion. The minute we assume voters can’t understand conservative principles we become just like the Dems–who influence and manipulate with emotion instead of logic.

Steven McGregor on April 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The Vice President is a mule.

galtani on April 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

This is a very, very easy game to win. Say you’ll support it with a Balanced Budget Amendment attached. That’s all. Just say, “Sure, Barack, but let’s balance the budget, too. You want a balanced budget, don’t you.” Oh, and call it the “American Family Act,” and then ask Barack, “You’re not opposed to the American family, are you?”

Play. To. Win.

Rational Thought on April 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Great Idea! The House should go to work on this right now.

lhuffman34 on April 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

If it’s that big a problem for us, give it to him. It can always be repealed by a republican congress and president next january. Better yet, attach a couple of things you want to it. Defund NPR. Let him veto what he’s made so much noise about to protect something like that.

trigon on April 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

I put my income into Obama’s tax rate calculator, and it said “average” taxpayers with my income pay 18%.
I find that odd, given that the amount I payed in taxes was less than 10% (I make the median income). What are they doing, ignoring the standard deduction?

Count to 10 on April 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Syzygy on April 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Beautiful. The “President Barack Obama’s Secretary’s Rule.”

Resist We Much on April 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

There really is something to Glenn Reynold’s suggestions. I for one would gladly accept the “Buffet Rule” in exchange for a surtax on government employees’ *excess* earnings. If it were retroactive, which the Left is so in favor of, that’d be the icing on the cake. And why not a surtax on Hollywood revenues? They’ve abused the tax code far, far more than the “rich.”

But the Stupid Party won’t go there.

edshepp on April 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

It’s one of those unfortunate issues that’s hard to campaign against, but the GOP can counter by tying Obama to a vision that means higher taxes and more spending.

As a separate issue, I will say though that I do think it’s wrong that people that work in finance are able to use the loophole of carried interest so they only pay a max of 15%. The tax code shouldn’t discriminate based on the industry you work in.

BradTank on April 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

The Vice President is a mule.

galtani on April 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

…how about a Bible’s version of the donkey?

KOOLAID2 on April 14, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Talk about the Buffet Rule? You mean this one?

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

Warren Buffet

Hey Baraka, release the last 23 years of YOUR tax returns!
Now that’s fair, doncha think?
Afterall, we are all beholden to this FLOTUS aren’t we?

“It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I ask again, “Why do Democrats hate Moms?”

OkieDoc on April 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

And this tendency to pretend this isn’t going to be a campaign issue in the fall (particularly when he’s running against Mr. “How Many of Ann’s Cadillac Convertibles Can I Fit In My Car Elevator”) is disturbing. In terms of electoral strategies, it just looks like Obama is playing three dimensional chess and we’re playing tiddlywinks here.

Some people are impressed by demagoguery. Some are repulsed. Obama isn’t even playing one dimensional chess. He’s playing the race card, the blame card and now the envy card.

Romney will school the public on Obama’s handling of the economy. By election day enough voters will understand the meanings of 1.5 trillion deficits and Obama budgets which are so compelling they are defeated 97-0 and 414-0.

The will also have a better understanding of who pays federal taxes

As I’ve said throughout this election side our nominee is first rate, but we are in dire need of better pundits.

Basilsbest on April 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

If you didn’t see it yesterday…

Picture of the Day: If Obama Had A Son, He Would Not Look Like Trayvon

A little humour on a Saturday afternoon…

Resist We Much on April 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

So then make the point that the reason is capital gains taxes, and those, in turns, are a second round of taxes on money that was taxed the first time as ordinary income. Or maybe even a third round because there’s corporate taxes too.

So, what’s not fair is that this tax is being done at all!!!!

FiveG on April 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

This +1000. I can’t understand why this point isn’t made more often. The so called “Buffet Rule” is targeting capital gains, not income. This is money that has already been taxed. How many times do we want to tax people’s money? What’s fair about that?

RedHotinNJ on April 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

The problem is that this is a difficult concept to communicate and an easy topic to demagogue. Ironically, the best example to use is Warren Buffet. Buffet earns money by increasing the value of Berkshire Hathaway stock. The value of that stock is based on the present value of AFTER TAX earnings (past, present and expected future earnings). When Buffet increases the earnings of his holdings by $100, Uncle Sam takes $35, so the price only increases by $65, on which the capital gains tax is $9.75,leaving Buffet $55.25. Buffet increases earnings by $100, keeps $55.25, and Uncle Sam get $44.75. The real capital gains tax rate is 44.75%.

Still, this is too complicated for the average Joe to understand.
Someone please come up with an easy way to explain this!

topdog on April 14, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I pay a lower tax rate than my neighbor. My property tax is lower than his income tax. I also pay a higher tax rate than my neighbor. My income tax is higher than his property tax. The same principle applies with comparing capital gains tax rates with income tax rates. Here’s a good one: Warren Buffet’s secretary pays a lower tax rate than he does. Her sales tax rate is lower than his capital gains tax rate. It’s all a simple case of comparing apples and oranges. The only people who don’t grasp it are those who refuse to think. If they did grasp that simple concept, then they wouldn’t get to excuse their own misery by blaming the people they’re told to hate. Obama’s approach to power is to encourage then exploit that refusal to think, regardless of how it many people spiral downward because of it. He doesn’t care what or how much he destroys, and that’s why the fight is so much harder for us.

86 on April 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

So what if it does resonate, Jazz? At a certain point, the American people are going to pay a real and causal price for their attitudes. If they want to make the right choice, they’ll reap the benefit; if they make the wrong choice, they’ll reap the education. This country is simply not rich enough to insulate the public from the ramifications of making the wrong decision, as we have been since World War II.

It’s sounds cruel and even contemptuous of democracy, but look what happened with healthcare. Through Reagan, Bush, Bush, and Clinton’s U turn, we had a populace pining for universal government healthcare. Then we elected Obama and got what we asked for. Now the NHS dream is politically dead and is one more strike (by the SCOTUS or the electorate) from being buried, permanently.

That’s the best and worst thing about America’s position at this point. Unlike liberals, we’re not trying to inflict our dream policies on the populace by getting a majority and ramming them through. Rather, we’re pointing out that fiscal sanity is going coming – the voters’ choice is whether or not to believe this. If they believe it, they (that is, we) will dictate the terms. If they don’t believe it, reform will be imposed on us by outside forces.

HitNRun on April 14, 2012 at 1:24 PM

The House Republicans should propose legislation to lower income tax rates to match the rate paid in capital gains. I wonder which “fairness” rule will poll higher?
Machiavelli on April 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM

And what does the deficit look like in that scenario? I hope you are not advising them…

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Flat tax anyone? Including those now paying NOTHING. Now that’s fair.

jb34461 on April 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM

From Krauthammer’s WAPO column:

“Okay. Let’s do the math. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this new tax would yield between $4 billion and $5 billion a year. If we collect the Buffett tax for the next 250 years — a span longer than the life of this republic — it would not cover the Obama deficit for 2011 alone.”

Leadership? Anywhere in Foggy Bottom? Nope. Just more political gamesmanship.

jb34461 on April 14, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Jazz wants to play RINO defense.

What about playing offense for a change?

Tie this buffet stuff to Obama’s lack of seriousness in his office.

Obama is playing gimmicks while you are losing your job.

Romney: Say No to Clunkers and Gimmicks

faraway on April 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM

According to the most recent IRS data for 2009, the average tax rate (after deductions) paid by all Americans is 11%.

There are roughly 123 million taxpayers who earn under $100,000, or about 88% of the 140 million Americans who filed a tax return in 2009. In other words, 88% of all taxpayers pay 8% or less of their income in income taxes, i.e., less than the CGR.

According to the most recent IRS data for 2009, the average tax rate (after deductions) paid by all Americans is 11%.

Source: IRS 2009 Data, Table 1.2 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/09in12ms.xls

Resist We Much on April 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM

According to a study by the Associated Press, the Buffett Rule would bring in approximately $31 billion over the next 11 years…assuming that all things remain unchanged, including the behaviour and habits of the “evil rich.”

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

Obama deficit spends: $4.3 billion per DAY.

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

The Obama Rule

Resist We Much on April 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

In terms of electoral strategies, it just looks like Obama is playing three dimensional chess

Obama only has a pair of trays, and he’s trying to play poker.

faraway on April 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Pollster average- Romney and Obama tied for first time

Chuck Schick on April 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

From today

General Election: Romney vs. Obama Rasmussen Tracking Obama 43, Romney 48 Romney +5

Buffett Rule and Rosengate not working?

galtani on April 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Jazz says not to ignore it but offers zero suggestions on what to do about it.

The GOP controls the House, they can pass their version of the Buffet Rule in a way that puts Democrats in a box. As someone said, attach a Balanced Budget Amendment to it. Or do it by lowering all rates.

Hopefully the Romney team is coordinating with the Senate and House to come up with something along these lines.

The Buffet Rule and War on Women are Obama’s only lines of attack. The latter is utterly failing, time to address the former.

commodore on April 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Here’s a concept:
Eliminate the corporate tax and tax capital gains at the regular rate for income. You probably couldn’t sell it, but it would help to link the two concepts in people’s minds.

topdog on April 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I agree with Jazz Shaw completely. Its time for the GOP to change the rhetoric on the ‘Buffett Rule’. Imagine the consternation on the LEFT and the disarray on the Obama campaign team if the GOP were too change its tack on the issue. Saying, for instance, “We agree with the President in regard to the premise he has suggested behind his “Buffet Rule” in that ALL Americans should pay their ‘fair share’ in taxes and we wish to support him in that effort. This is why we support the RYAN PLAN. Ending the loopholes and complication that is the American Tax Code today and implementing a much simpler and more EQUITABLE plan, in the truest tradition of RONALD REAGAN, will provide real EQUALITY for all Americans and insure greater revenues for the needs of the nation at the same time. Revising and simplifying the tax code, implementing a carefully planned and realistic BUDGET, and revising the entitlement plans to secure the safety net for ALL Americans, will ensure real EQUALITY for all of us.”

“Fairness” is an ambiguous and subjective term. EQUALITY is not. Americans believe in EQUALITY. we should use that difference to our advantage and give the nation a tax code that they can use and understand and that guarantees tax EQUALITY. Should those who make the most, the wealthiest, pay more? Absolutely! As provided in the RYAN PLAN. TWO RATES, one for those who make the most and one for those who make less. The difference is that we recognize that MIDDLE CLASS is about $40,000-$100,000 per year!Define what constitutes middle class FAIRLY….and stop telling them that they are POOR, as the Democrats do… and THAT will resonate with Americans,too.

thatsafactjack on April 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Pass it tied to a bill defunding PBS. Why, with trademarks and income from every movie, toy, and image of Big Bird and Elmo and the rest, are taxpayers still funding them?

rogerb on April 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM

So then make the point that the reason is capital gains taxes, and those, in turns, are a second round of taxes on money that was taxed the first time as ordinary income. Or maybe even a third round because there’s corporate taxes too.

So, what’s not fair is that this tax is being done at all!!!!

FiveG on April 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM

This +1000. I can’t understand why this point isn’t made more often.

Because as soon as you say “capital gains” 75% of the country doesn’t have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about.

bobs1196 on April 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM

The GOP should pass it, but with the proviso that it will not go into effect unless comprehensive tax reform is enacted in this Congressional session. They could turn around and say,”Hey, you got your Buffet rule–now let’s get to the real work.”

macnorfin on April 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

They actually think their odds of hitting the Lotto jackpot are better than becoming a Wall Street Fat Cat. And if they do hit the lottery, they don’t want all of their money taken away.

Yes.

Jazz when you get it right, and you do not always, you really get it right.

CorporatePiggy on April 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Jazz…. THANK YOU!!!!

This election is going to grow into Wallstreet/fat cats/ bigots vs us….

Supreme court: allowing citizens united vs striking down the whole healthcare bill
Congress: the Ryan budget and Blunt amendment,
Romney: want to deport you, look at his tax plan, supports: blunt amend, the Ryan plan and repealing the whole health are bill

Choosing a wall street guy was the dumbest idea ever! Santorum or Paul are the 2 guys who could fight these talking points. But we deemed them unelectable…

Urgh….

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

It occurred to me that we’re missing the entire point and arguing on a point by point basis as to why the buffet rule (er, Obama rule) is ‘bad’, fake, phony, whatever.

We’re talking checkers when Obama is making chess moves.

Remember, the Bush tax cuts expire for EVERYONE at the end of the year. Obama was willing earlier to let them expire for everyone but the Dems put a quick kibosh on that. I think Obama is thinking

(1)I’m going to win election
(2)the tax cuts have to expire so I have money to spend
(3)the political pain will be less for me if the Buffet rule goes through because people will feel satisfied that we socked the rich even more.

ie, hit the rich now which is a pre-requisite to tax everyone.

MaggiePoo on April 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

macnorfin on April 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Yep. We have to be proactive ourselves.

MaggiePoo on April 14, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Is there a reason you’re disappoined? Shouldn’t you be happy Obama has Romney where you want him?

bernverdnardo1 on April 14, 2012 at 2:04 PM

The House Republicans should propose legislation to lower income tax rates to match the rate paid in capital gains. I wonder which “fairness” rule will poll higher?
Machiavelli on April 14, 2012 at 12:27 PM
And what does the deficit look like in that scenario? I hope you are not advising them…
Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM

If Obama tries to make that point, he’ll be changing the subject away from “fairness”, which is the only upside the Buffett Rule has for him politically.

Machiavelli on April 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I think Obama is thinking
 
(1)I’m going to win election…
 
MaggiePoo on April 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

 
You make a good point there. It’s safe to say that he does nothing out of love of country or concern for her long-term financial health.
 
Everything is him, and everything is re-election. Never look at any of his proposals outside of that lens.
 
(If any supporters want to link to something that proves otherwise, please feel free.)

rogerb on April 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

In terms of electoral strategies, it just looks like Obama is playing three dimensional chess and we’re playing tiddlywinks here. – Jazz Shaw

.
Here’s what Roll Call reported on Thursday, April 12:

After renaming the “Buffett Rule” the “eagan [sic]Rule,” the White House is now taking aim at the “Romney Rule.”

Vice President Joseph Biden will coin the term “Romney Rule” in a speech today, taking a direct shot at the presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, according to advance excerpts released by the president’s re-election campaign.

Biden was to do this while introducing the bill in the U.S. Senate:

Biden will say. “The Romney Rule says the very wealthy should keep the tax cuts and loopholes they have and get an additional, new tax cut every year that is worth more than what the average middle-class family makes in an entire year.”

.
The Romney campaign quickly put together this response, also reported in the Roll Call article:

The Romney campaign pushed back with a rule of its own — the “Obama Rule.”

“In the fourth year of his term, President Obama has made no serious effort to reduce our country’s debt and deficits,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email. “Now, in an election year, he is using transparent political gimmicks to try and distract Americans from their failure to control spending and put Americans back to work. Instead of the Buffett Rule, the real issue is the Obama Rule, which is President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on American families and small businesses to grow government and stifle free enterprise.

.
Why has this nugget of pushback not received the recognition from bloggers and commenters that are aware of the crass, ideological tricks of the the Øbama Campaign and Administration? When I Googled “Obama Rule” I got pages returned with “Buffett rule.” The Democrat candidate has a media megaphone to get out the incumbent’s message while the Romney campaign has press releases and responses ignored by the same biased media.
.
This was a pretty adequate Romney message that has gotten nowhere because no media outlet has carried it, guaranteeing narrow exposure.

ExpressoBold on April 14, 2012 at 2:18 PM

This was a pretty adequate Romney message that has gotten nowhere because no media outlet has carried it, guaranteeing narrow exposure.

ExpressoBold on April 14, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I agree, 100%. I hadn’t seen this response by Mitt. He gets it.

I hate to sound so cynical, but there are too many who won’t accept that Romney’s the nominee so they don’t even try to pay attention.

MaggiePoo on April 14, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Republicans should agree to enact the Buffett Rule and even broaden it to include all capital gains. While they are at it, they should also eliminate the corporate income tax and index all gains on capital and savings to inflation.

Why should I be paying taxes on a savings account with shrinking buying power? That is clearly not fair. Even the kind of stupid people who do not understand capital gains ought to be able to figure that one out.

fadetogray on April 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The Vice President is a mule an a*s.

galtani on April 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Gratis

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Doesn’t the Buffett Rule mean fighting tooth and nail against paying taxes due?

“The company has been short-changing the tax collection agency for much of the past decade. Mr. Buffett’s company has not fully settled its tax bills from 2002-2009. Yet he says he’d happily pay more. Except the IRS has apparently been asking him to pay more going on nine years.”

Fallon on April 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The Vice President is a mule an a*s.

galtani on April 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Gratis

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

The fix is redundant.

galtani on April 14, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Or they should up the ante, and attach a number of poison pill amendments (e.g., a 30-percent tax surcharge on Hollywood actors with more than $1 million in income on a film.) Or they could coopt this Buffet rule fairness crapola into a genuine tax reform proposal.

ghostwriter on April 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

exactly right…make it a bit painful for their side and theirs…

jimver on April 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

jazz makes a great point. if you assume MOST people are stupid. i dont. stop playing games. stop treating most folks like they are idiots. and children. yeah most liberals are. forget them. they are lost. they’ve been bitten in walking dead parlance. they’re dead. the 60-70% who AREN’T liberals can think. be factual and adult. stop the “tie this to some poison pill” gimmick. god, this is pathetic. and treating the majority like they are idiots is what the “establishment” has always done. and then this entitlement bomb goes off NOBODY is gonna have the luxury to act this way. WE better start leading. WE better start acting like adults. and friggin stop this crap. god reading some of this stuff is sickening. they need adult education. not gimmicks. and ASSUMPTIONS they are greddy and stupid and venal. and they will get it.

t8stlikchkn on April 14, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Say what you will about the President’s performance in office, but the guy has a crack political team and he knows how to campaign.

And this is exactly why I expect he’ll win in November. Republicans need to get their act together and provide this country with a viable alternative to what we’ve currently got. They need to show they’re BETTER than the Dems, not just a mere opposing party (if they want any gains in political representation, which I’d imagine they do), and they really haven’t done that yet.

Disclaimer: I’m a young, independent voter and will probably be voting R down the line this November. I just don’t see the good ol’ boys club being able to beat the juggernaut the Dems will be rolling out without lots and lots of help – a couple dozen more Breitbarts would be great.

Aquarian on April 14, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Yep, this is another issue Republicans should cave on because the Dems will talk bad about us.

Next up…..Obamacare. You know, because Obama and company can make a good case for grandma going bankrupt, or little Jimmy dying in the street without it. And then, why stop with the Buffet rule…Republicans should cave on tax increases for the “rich” because Obama can make a case for it.

Folks, if this election can be lost on the Buffet rule, there’s nothing left to win…..we(and the country) have already lost.

xblade on April 14, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Don’t fall into the Buffett Rule trap
…Seriously, how stupid does one have to be to swallow OBOZO’s bs about the Buffett Rule?

TeaPartyNation on April 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Surprise.

Stupid bitter clingers can walk and chew gum at the same time.

So Rs… do what’s right, not what is “popular” and don’t raise taxes period.

Independents won’t forget the economy sucks and it gives us a chance to point out the ‘BigLie’ that 1/10 of 1% isn’t a solution.

#BuffetRule is that every wealthy 1%r Democrat gets a $1000,000,000 tax exemption and every Democrat cheats on their taxes. Wear that message out.

DANEgerus on April 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM

From USA Today, Jan 24, 2012 on Romney’s tax returns:

Capital gains taxes: $12.5 million paid in 2010 and an estimated $10.7 million for this year.
Charitable donations: $3 million in 2010 and and estimated $4 million in 2011.

Romney pays more tax dollars than more than 99.998% of all Americans. Over $10 million a year. How is it “fair” to suggest that he’s the one underpaying?

The trap is talking marginal rates. Talk raw dollars, and who’s paying them.

SomeCallMeJohn on April 14, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Maybe….just maybe. If there was a tiny difference between between Republicans and Democrats. Someone would realize that Old Warren doesn’t pay too little in taxes. His Secretary pays way to friggin’ much.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on April 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM