The Buffett Gimmick

Focus on government's shameful spending, not soaking the rich

Hope and change have been reduced to a Gimmick and a Lie.

It’s still early, but the Obama campaign so far is built on the “Buffett Rule” – a proposal to soak the rich with higher taxes because, hey, they’re not paying their fair share.

A couple of major problems with that.

First, even some prominent liberals admit a surtax on the rich is nothing more than a gimmick.

“It’s total gimmickry,” said left-leaning Politico.com executive editor Jim Vandehei.

“President Obama admits it: His proposed ‘Buffett Rule’ tax on millionaires is a gimmick,” wrote liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.

“The Buffett Rule is running into a dead end,” writes conservative Byron York in the Washington Examiner, “because a significant part of the political class in Washington has finally admitted the idea is little more than a gimmick that would do nothing to fix the country’s problems.”

Why is it a gimmick? And why does even the president know it? Because the math is simple: It would raise an estimated $4.7 billion a year – when the federal government’s annual deficits under this president are in excess of $1 trillion.

It is, in short, a sick joke. A joke, because it does next to nothing to solve our debt problems, and sick because the proposal is designed with one thing in mind: to divide America along class lines in order to benefit this president politically.

It may look like it, but proponents of the Buffett Rule didn’t flunk math. They know exactly what they’re doing. It’s an election-year diversion, a sop to voters weary of the Obama economy and willing and eager to buy the fable that the uber-rich and their greed are to blame for all our problems. And, of course, that the rich need to pay their fair share.

As the numbers above prove, it’s a lie that the rich are to blame for Washington’s spending problem. As the numbers below bear out, it’s a lie that they’re not paying their fair share:

• The top 1 percent pay nearly 37 percent of all federal income taxes;

• the top 5 percent pay nearly 59 percent of all federal income taxes;

• the top 10 percent pay over 70 percent of all federal income taxes;

• the top 25 percent pay over 87 percent of all federal income taxes;

• the top 50 percent pay almost 98 percent of all federal income taxes.

In addition, we are at the point where about 50 percent of American taxpayers pay nothing.

While this president wants you to believe the gimmickry and lies of the Buffett Rule, he also knows it has no chance of passing: It failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate this past week, and is a total nonstarter in the Republican-controlled House. So if he knows that – and surely he does – then the only reason he’s pushing it is for political effect – to whip up the peasantry, as it were, to revolt against its rich oppressors.

That’s called being disingenuous. And this president has taken that art to new heights.

The truth that Mr. Obama doesn’t want to talk about – other than his disastrous record on everything under the sun – is that all taxpaying Americans are going to be slammed with precipitously higher taxes next January: the expiration of $500 billion in tax breaks. Some are calling it “Taxmeggedon.”

If you’re wondering, experts say 70 percent of the new taxes will be on middle- and low-income taxpayers.

That, and Washington’s unchecked, depraved robbery of future generations, is what we should be talking about.

Not a Gimmick and a Lie.

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Fri, 12/09/2016 - 11:15

Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon