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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Obama Remains Under Fire For Buffet Tax: "Total Gimmickry," "A Cynical Ploy," "A Smoke Screen," "Class Warfare"

President Obama is taking more and more criticism over the gimmicky tax hike, the Buffett Tax, he’s been pushing all week. Of course, the tax would barely make a dent in the massive Obama deficits, will do absolutely nothing to help with high gas prices and certainly “won’t get you a job,” as a National Journal analysis piece declared. But today, more observers are calling out the president for how his Buffett Tax is far more politics than substance.

In a blistering column, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, certainly not someone considered a conservative flatly declares the Buffett Tax “a gimmick.” He writes, “President Obama admits it: His proposed ‘Buffett Rule’ tax on millionaires is a gimmick. ‘There are others who are saying: “Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,”’ Obama declared Wednesday. ‘Well, I agree.’ Actually, the gimmick was apparent even without the president’s acknowledgment. He gave his remarks in a room in the White House complex adorned with campaign-style photos of his factory tours. On stage with him were eight props: four millionaires, each paired with a middle-class assistant. . . . And if that’s not enough evidence of gimmickry, after his speech Obama’s reelection campaign unveiled an online tax calculator ‘to see how your tax rate stacks up against Mitt Romney’s — and then see what the Buffett Rule would do.’”

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Politico’s Jim VandeHei didn’t mince words: “It's total gimmickry. It’s 1% of what you need to actually take care of the deficit. There’s a big danger for President Obama in that they become so insanely political in an insanely political culture. Almost everything they do now is … targeted at a very specific subset of voters that they want to win.”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorializes today, “Obama's Buffett Rule is a political gimmick . . . . [T]he Buffett Rule is more likely to spawn a new generation of tax dodges than to usher in a new era of tax fairness. It is, in fact, nothing more than a smoke screen that obscures the possibility of real tax reform.” The New Hampshire Union Leader blasts the tax, calling it “a total sham” and writing, “The Buffett Rule is not about math or fairness or shared sacrifice. It is simply a cynical ploy . . . .”

Indeed, as Milbank writes, “The politics of the Buffett Rule — it has no chance of passing when the Senate takes it up next week — are so overt that Obama’s remarks Wednesday were virtually indistinguishable from a section of his campaign speech in Florida on Tuesday.”

Most of the comments point out that it’s particularly unfortunate that President Obama is pushing this tax hike as “a political gimmick” and “a cynical ploy” instead of taking up a serious tax reform. Milbank explains, “Three years into his presidency, Obama has not introduced a plan for comprehensive tax reform — arguably the most important vehicle for fixing the nation’s finances and boosting long-term economic growth.” VandeHei added, “He’s not offered tax reform when he could have offered tax reform. Did not offer budgets when he could’ve offered budgets.” And the Journal-Sentinel notes, “The Buffett Rule also would make the tax code more complicated. A better solution is a broad plan that would clean up the tax code by lowering rates for everyone and eliminating loopholes. . . . Obama has had several chances to show leadership on the tax issue, and, so far, has failed to do so.”

Gary Bauer, Campaign For Working Families noted that "Barack Obama's speech on the Buffett rule was typical of his more recent campaign speeches -- misleading, devoid of policy and little more than an anti-GOP tirade. Gone was the inspirational rhetoric about hope and change. Obama knows he can't play those cards again. So it's slash and burn, and he's back to blaming Bush. Buckle up -- it's going to be a rough ride!

"There's so much to expose, but I will limit myself to just one aspect of the president's remarks. Here's how Obama grossly distorted the Bush tax cuts:
"If we would just convert these investments that we're making throughout government in education, research and healthcare … into tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, then somehow the economy is going to grow stronger. That's the theory.

"Here is the news. We tried this for eight years before I took office. We tried it. It is not like we did not try it. At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans got two huge tax cuts, in 2001 and 2003. … We were told the same thing we're being told now -- this is going to lead to faster job growth, it's going to lead to greater prosperity for everybody. Guess what? It didn't."
"Here are the facts that Obama hopes American voters don't learn.
  • What Obama calls "investments" is really big government spending. He wants more money for more bottomless pits like the failed solar boondoggle Solyndra because he thinks government knows how to allocate research money better than the free market. This is a fundamental difference between the socialist left and the free enterprise right.
  • Conservatives believe that when people are allowed to keep more of their own money, they will spend it more efficiently than big government. That's called the free market. Consumer spending creates jobs and prosperity. Liberals believe government is the fount from which all blessings flow.
  • All taxpayers benefited from the across-the-board Bush tax cuts -- not just the wealthy. In fact, Bush cut the bottom tax rate from 15% to 10%. He doubled the per child tax credit from $500 to $1,000. Many liberals want to repeal these tax cuts, which would result in a huge tax increase on low-income families.
  • Believe it or not, the 2007 deficit was $160 billion. That's a lot of money, but it is a pittance compared to what has happened since. Last year the deficit was $1,300 billion. Obama has added more to the national debt in three years than Bush did in eight. Yet the unemployment rate was lower when Bush left office in January 2009 than it is today after three years of Obama's "investments."
  • Obama is waging class warfare. He supports higher taxes while chanting "fairness." But already the top one percent of earners pays approximately 40% of all income taxes. The top 10% pays approximately 70% of all income taxes. And yet Obama insists the rich somehow are not paying "their fair share."
  • Obama can say all he wants about fairness, but as The Hill points out only 4% of likely voters think the top tax rate should be 40% or more, which is what Obama wants and what will likely happen if he is reelected in 209 days.
Note: Congress returns from recess on Monday, April 16th and the liberal Senators and Representatives will be ready to champion Obama's tax and spend plans.

Tags: Barack Obama, Buffett Rule, millionaire's tax, higher taxes, more spin, more spending, more debt, more gimmicks, media responses To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:50 PM - Post Link


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