“Barry” – Class Warrior?
Today in Render Unto Barry, Scott Johnson begins:
President Obama advertised some big endorsements for his tax-the-rich more policies and class warfare reelection strategy yesterday.
I’ve already dispensed with their distortion that the rich are overtaxed. Today I would like to discuss one of their other favorite fallacies – that Obama is engaging in “class warfare” (I’ll ignore their disparagement of Obama’s religious convictions).
So, what evidence is there to support the claim that Obama is engaging in class warfare? As far as I can tell it all stems from Obama’s position on taxes. Firstly, he wants the Bush tax cuts to expire for income above $250k. Secondly, he proposed a “Buffett Rule” to ensure that millionaires pay a higher tax rate than the middle class. From two days ago – Whitehouse Introduces “Buffett Rule” Legislation.
Washington, DC – Last week, in his State of the Union address, President Obama said: “Tax reform should follow the Buffett Rule.” Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced legislation to … ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate, just as President Obama proposed.
The effect of these two changes would be the following:
1. People making between $250,000 and $1,000,000 (the top 4%) would pay the same effective rate they did in 2000.
2. People making over $2,000,000 (the top 0.1%) would pay a minimum 30% rate.
This second change would significantly affect only people like Warren Buffett and Mitt Romney – multi-millionaires who are making the bulk of their income from capital gains and dividends. Even so, these very wealthy Americans would only pay 2% more than they did under Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986. Still, both groups of taxpayers would be paying tax rates at or below their 50 year average. Class warfare indeed!