Warren Buffett declines to endorse the Buffett Rule

While President Barack Obama has named a key part of his job destruction plan after him, Warren Buffett hasn’t exactly endorsed the proposal to tax higher income earners:

Investment guru Warren Buffett set off a political firestorm Friday with a series of interviews in which he appeared to distance himself from the tax policy proposal President Obama introduced under the billionaires name.
Buffett, making similar remarks in all three interviews, said he is happy with the use of his name on the legislation, but added he doesn’t know all of the details included in the proposal, and the only plan he advocated was a higher tax rate on people who “make money with money only.

He noted he was describing a very limited number of wealthy Americans who earn the majority of their income through capital gains, which is taxed at a 15 percent rate.

“What I’m talking about would not apply to someone that made $5 million a year as a baseball player or $10 million a year on media,” Buffett said on Fox Business Network. “It would apply only to probably 50,000 people out of 309 million who have huge incomes, pay very low taxes. There should be a policy that applies to people with money who earn lots of money and pay very low rates. If they earn it by normal jobs what I say would not hit them at all.”

The billionaire businessman caused confusion with his remarks, and it was compounded by the fact that there have been no specific details from the administration regarding what additional taxes on millionaires would entail.

We’ve pointed out before that the so-called Buffett Rule would do nothing to close the deficit, in fact it would cover a week’s worth of spending. The concept itself is also very misleading given that the people that Obama and Buffett are referring to earn their money through investment returns, which are already double-taxed (once through corporate income taxes and then again through capital gains taxes). It’s also faulty since the top 20% of income earners pay nearly 70% of all federal taxes.

Yeah, may rally the know-nothing populists, but the entire point of the proposal is a sad, gimmicky joke.

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