The Buffett Rule: Is there anything it can’t do?

The Obama administration seems to think the Buffett Rule is the Swiss Army knife of policy proposals. It can do almost anything! Last year, when the President first proposed the rule that would slap an additional tax on the wealthiest 400 households in America, he claimed it would pay for his jobs bill and “stabilize” the debt for a decade. Last week, the White House brazenly claimed that no one ever said it would have a “significant” impact on the debt but that the rule was all about “tax fairness”.

Now, there’s a new spin on the President’s pet proposal. Yesterday, in his weekend address, the President claimed the Buffett Rule isn’t about “tax fairness” so much as it’s about economic growth. He reinforced the new claim while in Cartagena, Colombia today.

“That is not an argument about redistribution. That is an argument about growth,” Obama said in response to a reporter’s question at a news conference in Colombia. “In the history of the United States, we grow best when our growth is broad based.”

“This is not an argument about taking from A to give to B. This is not a redistributionist argument that we’re making. We’re making an argument about how do we grow the economy in a 21st century environment,” Obama said.

In reality, the President has not made an argument at all, but a claim. Like the other two rationales for the Buffett Rule, which is a textbook example of redistribution, there is nothing behind it but an army of strawmen and a sternly stated “Nuh uh!”

  • TraderBill

    This feckless pursuit of enacting the “Buffet Rule” is nothing more than ramping up class warfare as a political strategy going into the general elections. What Obama and most liberals fail to comprehend is that the amount of wealth held by “the wealthy” is a fungible commodity and that total wealth in this country is fluid, not fixed, as they want us to believe. Businesses innovating and creating new jobs is what creates wealth. Unemployment and underemployment numbers continue to be staggeringly high, because the business community fears the unknown: Obamacare and the likelihood of major revisions to tax policy if the current administration is re-elected. The current regulatory environment simply makes it too expensive to hire new employees, especially those at entry-level jobs. Add to that a poorly timed increase in minimum wage, and you have a recipe for a continued weak economy for years to come. But, of course, what Obama depends on is an electorate badly schooled in economics, thanks to public education which they have managed for the past 40 years.