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Obama Pushing Buffett Tax Again; National Journal: "The Buffett Rule Won’t Get You a Job" | Missouri Political News Service

Obama Pushing Buffett Tax Again; National Journal: “The Buffett Rule Won’t Get You a Job”

April 11th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

President Obama and Senate Democrats have decided that they’re going to use the week leading up to Tax Day to push yet another tax hike designed with politics in mind. The president is even flew to Florida to give a speech about. Last month, Democrats spent weeks demanding a tax increase on American energy producers, a tax hike designed to produce a political talking point, not lower gas prices. Now, Obama and his fellow Democrats have returned to their Buffett Tax idea, which, again, is designed for political headlines and won’t do anything to help Americans who are out of work or struggling with high gas prices.

In an analysis piece, titled “The Buffett Rule Won’t Get You a Job,” National Journal cuts to the heart of the matter, writing, “On the seventh and final page of its background report on the Buffett Rule, out this morning, the Obama administration finally dives into what it calls ‘the economic rationale’ for imposing a new minimum tax rate on millionaires. If you’re an unemployed American, that placement should be your first red flag. The second should be the rationale itself. Once you read it, you’ll realize the Buffett Rule has nothing to do with helping you, or 13 million other Americans looking for work as of March, find a job.” The article points out, “Voters want overwhelmingly for the presidential election to focus on jobs and the economy. In Florida today and on the campaign trail for months to come, Obama will attempt to narrow that focus to the idea that wealthy Americans should pay at least the same effective income tax rates as their middle-class counterparts. That’s not a jobs plan in anything but the most abstract, long-run terms.”

And of course, even the Obama administration admits this tax hike will do almost nothing to reduce this president’s serial trillion dollar deficits or pay down the over $15 trillion debt. Politico reports, “Introducing a minimum 30 percent income tax on millionaires ‘was never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control,’ Jason Furman, the principal deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon.”

Meanwhile, in a article headlined “Buffett Rule: Could it backfire on Democrats?,”

The Christian Science Monitor writes, “[P]olling suggests that taxing the rich might not be a winning issue for Obama in November.” Indeed, “the larger economic argument centered around ‘fairness’ may be problematic for the independent voters who are often crucial in presidential elections.” CSM explains, “Among voters without a strongly held opinion of either Mr. Romney or Obama, 80 percent said they’d be more likely to support a candidate focused on economic growth and opportunity, while 15 percent said they would choose one emphasizing income inequality, according to a poll released Monday by the centrist Democratic group Third Way. Asking a similar question, the poll found that 51 percent of so-called swing independents favored a candidate arguing for an economy based on opportunity, while 43 percent opted for one making the case for an economy based on fairness.” Reuters adds, “Obama’s push on tax fairness may be falling on deaf ears in the swing states where the November 6 election will likely be decided. In 12 battleground states, 80 percent of independent voters lacking strong views on either Obama or Romney said they prefer a candidate who focuses on creating economic opportunity rather than reducing income inequality, according to a poll by the moderate Democratic group Third Way released on Monday.”

The National Journal analysis concludes, “If the Buffett Rule was a serious pitch to help the jobless, it would deal with one of those main drivers of unemployment. It would boost persistently weak aggregate demand or incentivize business investment. It does neither. Instead, it tells America’s job-seekers, don’t worry, we’re going to make the tax code look more fair to you. Lots of polls suggest that’s a good political argument. But that’s what it is: a political pitch.”



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