Dear Obots: I Wanted To Take Obama’s “Buffet” Tax Seriously, But Then…


…I read this:

The policy goal is to impose an effective minimum tax of 30% on the income of anyone who makes more than $1 million a year. When President Obama first proposed this new minimum tax he declared that the rule "could raise enough money" so that we "stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade."

Then he added: "This is not politics; this is math." Well, remedial math maybe.

The Obama Treasury’s own numbers confirm that the tax would raise at most $5 billion a year—or less than 0.5% of the $1.2 trillion fiscal 2012 budget deficit and over the next decade a mere 0.1% of the $45.43 trillion the federal government will spend. When asked about those revenue projections, White House aide Jason Furman backpedaled from Mr. Obama’s rationale by explaining that the tax was never intended "to bring the deficit down and the debt under control."

Okay. So what is the point?

The goal, Mr. Furman explained, is to establish a "a basic issue of tax fairness." Millionaires should pay an effective tax rate no lower than a middle-class secretary or a plumber. But wait: IRS data show that middle-class workers on average pay just under 15% of their income in federal taxes, while the richest 0.1% pay almost twice as high a rate on average, or 26%.

The “Buffet rule” has nothing to do with improving the economy, solving the deficit or fixing a “tax fairness” problem.  Gee, it’s almost like the entire thing is a divisive, class-envy political ploy.

That can’t be right…can it?

Every group of American taxpayers pays less in taxes than their “fair share” (portion of total income) except one group: The “evil rich.”

Now, that doesn’t mean we should be raising or cutting anyone’s taxes. But it does prove that President Obama’s obsession with “millionaires and billionaires” is pure politics—completely unconnected from math, money, economics and reality.

So help me, Obama supporters. I’d like to take a tax proposal seriously when it comes from my president and the leader of the free world.  but with these facts—how can I?

Please post your explanations on my FB page below. Thanks in advance.

Michael Graham
Radio talk show host, columnist for the Boston Herald, stand-up comic and former GOP political consultant. Learn more about Michael here.

Natural Truth of the Day

For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I've been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don't know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population... I stand corrected: These data won't be available at all. Ever.-- Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View.