The “Buffett Rule” is shell game
Last month, the Joint Committee on Taxation released a report showing that the so-called “Buffett Rule,” a new tax supported by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats on the wealthiest Americans, will not work as intended as those targeted would likely find a way around it. But despite this, Senate Democrats are expected to bring the tax to floor next week, hoping to use it as a tool to hammer their Republican counterparts:
White House press secretary Jay Carney said a Senate vote next week on the so-called Buffett Rule will not be an empty gesture even if it is defeated in the upper chamber.
Carney insisted the White House goal was to win passage of the measure, but also acknowledged the vote could accomplish the political goal of hurting Republicans, something that could also lead to its eventual passage.
“I would simply note two things,” Carney said at Monday’s daily White House press briefing.
“One, the piece of legislation we’re talking about here on its face has broad support across the country,” he said. “Two, there is an opportunity here, because of the 60-vote threshold, to demonstrate Republicans listen to their constituents.
“That’s what votes do — they put senators on record,” Carney said. “We will certainly see how senators handle that, the opportunity to vote on the so-called Buffett Rule. The goal is the passage of the resolution.”
First of all, the Buffett Rule will not pass, despite efforts to bring over some Republicans, so it is an “empty gesture.” Secondly, the idea that passing this tax is going to close the budget deficit, which is what some Senate Democrats are claiming, is completely absurd. The tax, if it works as intended (and it won’t) would only bring in less than $50 billion over a 10 year span. That’s $5 billion per year, and the last time I checked, our budget deficit was expected to be well over $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive year.
Thirdly, that $5 billion is less than half of what the federal government spends in a day. And lastly, the so-called “1%,” the targets of the Buffett Rule, already pay a higher income tax rate than other tax brackets, including the middle class; not to mention that they pay a much larger share of the total income tax burden.
These are the facts, folks. But that won’t matter to the White House and those pushing this gimmick in the Senate.