The king of income redistribution is at it again for the umpteenth time. It’s not like we haven’t heard this “spread the wealth around” pitch from Obama before as he keeps pounding away at those darn rich people who dare to work hard to expand their businesses so we can have job growth through free enterprise and avoid the pitfalls of socialism.
How many times do we have to listen to this guy crab about the Buffett rule where big Warren pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary? I think he is out of ammunition and like the television shows, he is heading into his summer reruns.
It looks like his ideas about the economy and taking from the rich aren’t going over so well. A current Washington Post /ABC News poll shows 44% endorsing Obama’s handling of the economy while 54% disapprove. On the other hand, the same poll shows that 47% trust Romney with the economy over Obama who has 44%. Never mind that Romney hasn’t been nominated or seriously campaigned yet.
According to columnist Charles Krauthammer, Obama is using the Buffet rule as a political ploy to gain acceptance by “pitting the 99% against the 1%.” He is selling the idea of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. He knows what his audience likes to hear. “Obama does not know how to govern or is he a good president but he sure knows how to campaign” says Krauthammer.
The second method Obama uses to incite his base is that since the rich pay only a 15% capital gains tax, they are paying far less in taxes than others like the middle class. Not so, says Charles. He says that although the capital gains tax is 15%, it has been proven over the last half century that if you raise capital gains taxes the amount of money going into the treasury is actually less than if the tax is lower.
When asked in 2008 by Charles Gibson of ABC News if he would raise capital gains taxes even if it meant less revenue, Obama replied: “Yes, in the name of fairness.” Krauthammer says that Obama can’t run on his record and doesn’t have a vision for his second term, so why not run on fairness?” Why not, indeed? He isn’t going to balance the budget anyway.
According to Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard, the Buffet rule would raise about the same amount of money in one year as the federal government accumulates in debt in a single day. So, what is the big deal about the rich and the 15% capital gains? The lower the taxes they pay, the more they can put back into their businesses to create jobs and more customers. However, Obama tells his crowd that lower taxes on the rich mean the poor are being screwed. Hence, his incorrect “fairness” spiel.
It doesn’t wash and even liberal writers like Dana Milbank of the Washington Post call the Buffett rule a “gimmick.”
As far as the rich not paying their fair share, here are some numbers from the Americans For Tax Reform: PERCENT OF ALL TAX REVENUE: Top 1%, $344,000+ income: income tax, 39.5%, All Federal taxes, 28.1%. Middle Quintile, $65,000 income: income tax, 4.6%, All Federal taxes, 9.2%.
AVERAGE TAX RATES: Top 1%: 19% of income taxes and 29.5% of all Federal taxes. Middle quintile: 3.3% of income taxes, 14.3% of all Federal taxes.
The Democrats like to reference John Kennedy as one of their great presidents. John Kennedy lowered the capital gains tax. I guess he had a different definition of “fairness” that didn’t include redistribution of income and class warfare.