Sunday, April 15, 2012
Wall Street Journal, The Buffett Tax Loss: It Turns Out This Obama Proposal Will Cost Federal Revenue:
The case for the Buffett tax keeps eroding. When President Obama announced the idea, he said it would help "stabilize our debt and deficits over the next decade." Then came the inconvenient revelation that the new 30% millionaire's tax would raise only $46.7 billion over 10 years. ...
Now we learn that the Buffett tax the Senate is expected to vote on early next week will make the deficit worse. That's because both Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats have made it clear that their new "fairness" tax is to offset the revenue loss from another provision related to the Alternative Minimum Tax. That measure would exempt more than 20 million middle class Americans with incomes as low as $80,000 a year from getting nailed by the AMT....
The Joint Tax Committee—the official scoring referee on tax bills—calculates that the combination of AMT repeal for the middle class and the Buffett tax would add $793.3 billion to the debt over the next decade. As Mr. Obama has said, "This isn't politics, this is math."
The Buffett tax is losing any serious rationale by the day. Mr. Obama's position now is that we need a new fairness tax, because the old AMT fairness tax that was targeted at millionaires and billionaires isn't raising much money from the Warren Buffetts of the world. Instead it's siphoning income out of more and more nonmillionaires. So they argue it's time for a new Buffett rule, that is almost identical to the old Buffett rule, and no doubt in time will have the same unintended consequences.
The Buffett rule itself may die, but the name will live on as a metaphor for pointless public policy.
- Boston Herald editorial, Buffett Rule Demagoguery
- Charles Krauthammer, Buffett Rule Redistributes Chairs on Titanic
- McClatchy, Exaggerations Abound on Both Sides of ‘Buffett Rule’ Debate, Experts Say
- Philadelphia Inquirer, Buffett Rule Is Politics Over Policy