It’s Buffett Week
With Obama’s focus on political theater this week, we here at “Is This Blog On” are going to focus (like a laser beam) on his bullshit, hyper partisan, tax ideas.
Yesterday, at the one “official visit” of his Florida trip, this from a pool report:
BOCA RATON – An enthusiastic crowd of about 4,500 waited for the president in the Florida Atlantic University gym. Though this was an official White House event and not a campaign event, a few chants of “Four more years” and “O-ba-ma” were heard before the president spoke and the crowd cheered enthusiastically at several points in his remarks.
Official Visit, folks. Not a campaign even paid by his re-election committee. So, what did he say? Remember – official even, not a campaign speech:
These folks, they keep telling us that if we just weaken regulations that keep our air or our water clean or protect our consumers, if we would just convert these investments that we’re making through our government in education and research and health care — if we just turned those into tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, then somehow the economy is going to grow stronger. That’s the theory.
And here’s the news: We tried this for eight years before I took office. We tried it. (Applause.) It’s not like we didn’t try it. (Laughter.) At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans got two huge tax cuts — 2001, 2003. Meanwhile, insurance companies, financial institutions — they were all allowed to write their own rules, or find their way around rules. We were told the same thing we’re being told now — this is going to lead to faster job growth. This is going to lead to greater prosperity for everybody.
Guess what — it didn’t. (Laughter.) Yes, the rich got much richer. Corporations made big profits. But we also had the slowest job growth in half a century. The typical American family actually saw their incomes fall by about 6 percent even though the economy was growing, because more and more of that growth was just going to a few, and the average middle-class American wasn’t seeing it in their paychecks. Health care premiums skyrocketed. Financial institutions started making bets with other people’s money that were reckless. And then our entire financial system almost collapsed. You remember that?
I don’t really remember it just like that, no.
A lot of the folks who were peddling these same trickle-down theories — including members of Congress and some people who are running for a certain office right now, who shall not be named — (laughter and applause) — they’re doubling down on these old broken-down theories. Instead of moderating their views even slightly, instead of saying, you know what, what we did really didn’t work and we almost had a second Great Depression, and maybe we should try something different, they have doubled down.
OFFICIAL EVENT. NOT A CAMPAIGN SPEECH. I thought I needed to insert another reminder.
You might have heard of this, but Warren Buffett is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. Now, that’s wrong. That’s not fair. And so we’ve got to choose which direction we want this country to go in. Do we want to keep giving those tax breaks to folks like me who don’t need them, or give them to Warren Buffet — he definitely doesn’t need them — (laughter) — or Bill Gates — he’s already said, I don’t need them. Or do we want to keep investing in those things that keep our economy growing and keep us secure? That’s the choice. (Applause.)
And, Florida, I’ve told you where I stand. So now it’s time for members of Congress to tell you where they stand. In the next few weeks, we’re going to vote on something called the Buffett Rule — very simple: If you make more than $1 million a year — now, I’m not saying you have a million dollars — right? I’m not saying you saved up all your money and you made smart investments and now you’ve got your nest egg and you’re preparing for retirement. I’m saying, you’re bringing in a million bucks or more a year. Then, what the rule says is you should pay the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do. (Applause.) You shouldn’t get special tax breaks. You shouldn’t be able to get special loopholes. (Applause.)
Yea, well he’s not being entirely honest here. Because the Buffett rule isn’t going to be what hits retirement savings. He’s got other tax schemes to take care of that.
Even without the Buffett Rule, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and new taxes under Obamacare would raise taxes on capital gains to 24% and dividends to 45%, triple today’s rate. Of course, just last year, the Obama administration noted in its budget that the lower dividend rate “reduces the tax bias against equity investment and promotes a more efficient allocation of capital.”
Over the past few weeks, Obama has exhibited the intensity of a Navy SEAL in his execution of class warfare. He is trying to convince everyone that those who earn 17% of Adjusted Gross Income, yet pay 36.7% of federal income taxes don’t pay anything, while those who pay little or no taxes shoulder the entire tax burden. Obama will continue to toss out misinformation throughout the campaign about all these billionaires that supposedly pay little in taxes.
The policy goal is to impose an effective minimum tax of 30% on the income of anyone who makes more than $1 million a year. When President Obama first proposed this new minimum tax he declared that the rule “could raise enough money” so that we “stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade.”
Then he added: “This is not politics; this is math.” Well, remedial math maybe.
Despite White House rhetoric:
IRS data show that middle-class workers on average pay just under 15% of their income in federal taxes, while the richest 0.1% pay almost twice as high a rate on average, or 26%.
Obama’s entire tax policy is going to hurt you and me. Not millionaires and billionaires who will quickly find ways (with their influence) to get their loopholes into the new tax code.
No, who will be fraked? You and me. Those without enough money to 1) hide it or 2) influence policy to shield it.
Among U.S. taxpayers with incomes in excess of $1 million, most pay about 30 percent in taxes — the very rate proposed by the president under the Buffett Rule — while about 10 percent pay a considerably higher rate and another 10 percent pay 24 percent or less, according to the Congressional Research Service. That latter group is composed mostly of retirees and professional investors whose incomes take the form of capital gains rather than salaries and bonuses.
In absolute terms, high-income Americans pay practically all of the federal income taxes, and they pay a higher percentage of their incomes than do typical middle-class Americans. These facts are indisputable.
Enough about that.