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Moms Matter 2012

Republicans Reject Buffett Rule -- Hooray!

by Jenny Erikson on April 16, 2012 at 8:10 PM

tax formLet’s talk about numbers. People love to make numbers say whatever they want. For example, number trickery has perpetuated the myth that the middle class pays the majority of the taxes in America. Famed fat cat billionaire Warren Buffett has made issue of the effective tax rate of his secretary, and how so totally unfair it is that she is taxed at a higher percentage rate than him.

It recently came to light that President Obama also paid ‘fewer’ taxes than his secretary. That must be what they’re calling new math.

Numbers, especially when using statistics, can be twisted to say many things that don’t fall into the category of Common Sense. For example, statistically speaking, if I have five children, one of them will be Chinese.

Here’s a pesky fact -- the 10% of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay over 70% of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office. How is it possible that the middle class pays the most in taxes when as a group, they pay less than half?

Anyway, in order to save the secretaries (or something), President Obama has been touting the Buffett Rule, which would impose a minimum tax on the nation’s 400 highest earners. Apparently you can earn enough money.

As I pointed out last week:

Super rich people make money from capital gains and dividends, which they then turn around and reinvest into the economy. Raising taxes on capital gains means that rich people employers won’t be able to create jobs.

Sixty percent of the public supports a minimum tax on the uber wealthy, because hey, why not? They already have enough money; it’s time for them to spread it around to those of us struggling to make ends meet. Besides, President Obama said that this would go a long way toward eliminating the national deficit and reducing our debt.

Side note: Any billionaire that wants to voluntarily pay more taxes by donating to the government to reduce our debt (it’s patriotic!) can go here and do it right over the internet! 

Back to the magic Buffett rule that will solve our nations financial problems … Last September, President Obama said:

What I’ve said is this is a very simple principle that everybody should understand: Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a lower [sic] tax rate than Warren Buffett. A teacher making $50,000 a year, or a firefighter making $50,000 a year or $60,000, shouldn’t be paying a higher tax rate than somebody making $50 million a year. And that basic principle of fairness, if applied to our tax code, could raise enough money that not only do we pay for our jobs bill, but we also stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade. And as I said when I made the announcement, this is not politics; this is math. (Laughter.)

Math? That’s some interesting math. As my friend Jimmie Bise points out: 

The American Jobs Act, the bill to which the President referred in his speech, clocked in at $447 billion dollars. The Buffett Rule was predicted to bring in, at best$114 billion, not in one year, but in ten. By my count, the President would need almost 4 Buffett Rules — or four times as many Evil Bazillionaires — to cover just his jobs bill if we assume that his plan stretched out over ten years, which it didn’t. We haven’t even gotten to the part where this miracle plan of his stabilizes the debt for ten years. How many more monocle-wearing, puppy-blending, orphan-kicking rich people would we need to get to that point? Hundreds? Thousands?

The Buffett Rule has nothing to do with cutting spending, reducing the deficit or debt, creating jobs, or anything else that the Obama administration claims it will do. This is a distraction, something to cover up the fact that Obama can’t even get Nancy Pelosi to vote for his budget, or that unemployment numbers are going down because people have simply given up looking for work.

Nope, the Buffett Rule is a distraction. It is smoke and mirrors, an attempt to blame the financially successful people for stealing the nation’s wealth and a way to reintroduce class warfare. Newsflash: Rich people get rich by creating a product or service that entices people to fork over their cash in exchange for it. If you don’t want the Steve Jobs of the world to be rich, I’d suggest not buying things like iPads.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, read Do You Support the Buffett Rule?

 

Image via John-Morgan/Flickr

Filed Under: barack obama, charity, corporations, discrimination, economy, in the news, media, politics, taxes

Comments

27
  • Desti...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Destiny Hall Lewis

    April 16, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    But Jenny?!? It's NOT FAIR that other people can afford an ipad and I can't!!!!! LOL We knew this was never going to pass and so did Obama. Distraction is right. It's kinda like when your toddler is pitching a fit and you find a shiny or noisy object to grab their attention. ;-)


  • fave82
    --

    fave82

    April 16, 2012 at 8:41 PM
    Personally i think ipads should be free.. Just like my birth control! Zing!
  • JAIRA...
    --

    JAIRATRACI

    April 16, 2012 at 8:45 PM
    How is it not fair for some who makes a lot of money to pay the same percentage of income tax as those who make less? It should be a flat percentage across all pay scales. Yes the people who make less would pay in less but that's fairer than some making $50,000 paying in 20% and someone making $100,000 paying in 10%.
  • Melis...
    --

    Melissa042807

    April 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Call me crazy but when was the last time just pouring money into a broken system run by people who have no clue how to properly manage money a good solution? Sheesh. 


  • bills...
    --

    billsfan1104

    April 16, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Jair,, I make close to 100k, and I do not pay 10%.  More like 28%, and if I make a bonus check, that check is taxed at 38%  So why should I have to continue to pay higher when I work harder??


  • SuzyB...
    --

    SuzyBarno

    April 16, 2012 at 8:50 PM
    Jairatraci- you don't understand. No matter how rich you are, if you make an investment and you earn money on that investment(capital gains), then it is taxed at a lower rate than your regular income you get from your employer. If there isn't a lower tax rate, then where is the incentive to invest money? People would just keep it in their pocket, not a good scenario for the US.

    Love love love this article! So happy to be a part of the republican party and that I pay for all my shit. And no, I'm not "rich".
  • michele
    -- Nonmember comment from

    michele

    April 16, 2012 at 8:58 PM
    And besides, the more they get taxed, the more they charge for their product or service. If the rich pay more, we will too, it will just be a different path that our money goes on.
  • Littl...
    --

    LittleFrogsMA

    April 16, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Jenny,

     

    I don't make boockoo bucks but guess what, most of my income ends up going back into the economy.

     

    Why should investment income be taxed less than earned income?  


  • JAIRA...
    --

    JAIRATRACI

    April 16, 2012 at 9:09 PM
    Billsfan why should someone who makes a smaller amount of money pay more percentage wise than someone who makes a lot? Just because they make less doesn't mean they don't work hard. Jobs that pay less aren't easier than jobs that pay more.
  • MayUb...
    --

    MayUbEhappY

    April 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    @Jairatraci - Thank you and I agree!

    I'm so surprised that republicans reject the Buffett Rule. (roll eyes)


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