He’s a warrior for the middle class, don’tcha know, even though it’s the middle class that’ll end up shouldering the load of Obamanomics once people realize that we can’t possibly tax the Warren Buffetts of the world enough to pay for everything. Further to that point, check out the snazzy chart posted yesterday at the Atlantic by Daniel Indiviglio. Even if we took the “Buffett rule” to its ultimate extreme and confiscated 100 percent of the earnings of people who take in $1 million or more each year, we’d eliminate less than one-third of the annual deficit. (That’s assuming, of course, that the deficit wouldn’t rise as economic activity collapsed under the new tax rate and the feds were forced to borrow more for stimulus.) More from David Freddoso:
In 2009, about 237,000 individual income tax filers reported adjusted gross income of $1 million or more. Taken together, these filers — families and small businesses — made a grand total of $722 billion, and paid $178 billion of that in income taxes.
Their effective federal income tax rate was 24.6 percent, between three and four times the effective rate on middle-income families that pull in $50,000 to $75,000 per year.
This million-plus crowd — who comprise less than 0.2 percent of all taxpayers — made 10.6 percent of all income in 2009 and paid 20.5 percent of all individual income taxes.
To be sure, the wealthy can and should pay more in taxes than the poor. The point here is that they already do pay more — a lot more.
According to Jeffrey Anderson, the richest 0.1 percent of taxpayers pay 16.4 percent of the total tax burden; the bottom 80 percent pay just 10.9 percent. But to obsess about tax burdens is to play Obama’s game, of course. The real problem in his budget isn’t his revenue demands, it’s — well, you know. Paul Ryan:
Top tax rates are already set to climb much higher by virtue of the President’s health care legislation. In 2013, when economists tell us the unemployment rate will still be above 8.5 percent, the Administration’s tax policy would push the top effective tax rate to 44.8 percent from its current level of 35 percent.
Even if tax revenue as a share of the economy were to grow in excess of its historical average, tax increases simply cannot match the spending commitments of the federal government in the years ahead. Based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections of their likely policy trajectory, government spending is on pace to double within a generation, and eclipse 75 percent of the entire economy later this century… As the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein observed: “No amount of rhetoric by [President] Obama is going to change the numbers.” In other words: “It’s math.”
So it is, but math — especially entitlement math — won’t get you re-elected, which of course is the paramount objective to governing. So here he is laying into billionaires on behalf of the middle class that he’ll end up breaking to fund his agenda. Can’t wait until Warren Buffett does this shtick himself at Obama’s next $35,800-a-head fundraiser. Click the image to watch.