Election Year means Politics. And Politics represents the worst in Human Thinking.
As Obama looks forward with the prospects of facing Romney, his team is in search of some policy initiatives to build a campaign narrative around. Enter, the Buffett Rule.
It's based on the idea pushed by MULTI-BILLIONAIRE Warren Buffett that the "wealthy" should pay a minimum tax on their income to avoid the work of skillful accountants and tax laws on investment income and capital gains that result in the super-rich paying 12-15% in federal income tax. And this idea is so perfect because Romney made 27 Million in the past years (or something like that) and only paid about 14% in federal tax. What Obama would want would put this class of earners on minimum tax to make them pay something closer to 30% or something to that effect.
THIS is politics. Nothing more. Make no mistake. It's not based on any high-minded ideal. It's stoking the worst in human emotions like jealousy and envy and a preoccupation with others' affairs for self-gain. That's it.
What's worse is that the Buffett Rule, concocted by one multi-billionaire's sense of what is "just", is being targeted at annual earnings over $1 million. I'm sorry but there's a world of difference between Buffett's position and Romney's. And an even greater difference between Romney's and the generic benchmark of $1 million in annual earnings.
Now, I'm not making a charity case out Romney (I don't even like the guy) or anyone earning $1 million per year...far from it. But I can't help but get irked by the rationales and emotions that make this law so politically advantageous. It's politics.
If Obama wants to use the campaign season to bring something important to the forefront, he can find much better subject matter than going after people who make a lot of money. And beyond the emotion-stoking of it all, the reality of it completely ignores individual cases and geography. One million per year is a very good living no matter how you slice it. But it's not a uniformly comfortable position for everyone in that earning range and it's a far cry from lofty heights of the Forbe's top 100 list or even top 1000 list where you see names like Buffett, Gates, Allen and nouveau-multi-billionaire Zuckerberg.
It makes no consideration for debt, local taxes, local living costs or personal situations. Rather, it lumps billionaires who have perennial earnings in the 10s of millions (or far more) over long periods of time with a business man who climbed out (or is still climbing out) of a tenuous, high-debt position with sporadic earnings between ZERO and a few hundred thousand per year who finally has a breakthrough year and makes a little over a million. What will next year bring? How about 3 years from now? How old is this person? What kinds of assets does he have for the long term?
But such clumsy laws not only ignore all this but they also reinforce the ignorance of people who make far less from a salary who somehow feel angry at these people who earn a lot more and pay a similar percentage in taxes.
Now, if Obama wanted to make a Forbes 400 rule, I would care a lot less but I'd still find it petty and shortsighted. There are better things to do. But it's clearly a move to make Romney look bad for being rich. There's a lot more wrong with what government government has created that needs to be fixed before picking on the higher end of the investment class.
Submitted by John on Tue, 2012-04-10 09:32