Friday, September 4, 2015

Buffet Rule: Grrrr

Obama's "buffet rule" makes me grrrr because it's not what it seems and it's a play for political gain.

Buffet Rule: Grrrr


Know what really makes me grrrr about the "Buffet Rule?"

I mean other than the fact that it's clearly an attempt by the incumbent president to remain the incumbent president by waving it around to make people who earn less than $1 million a-year, a.k.a most voters, feel cheated by and angry at those who make more than $1 million a-year, like, say, oh, I don't know, Mitt Romney.

And so, Obama pushes the "Buffet Rule" all over the country, over and over. And he just held a high-profile event at the White House with a bunch of millionaires and their secretaries to urge passage of the "Paying a Fair Share Act" in the Senate the week of April 16.

For those not paying attention, the "Buffet Rule" comes from gazillionaire Warren Buffet saying he shouldn't be allowed to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary (to which a lot of people say, fine, pay more, Warren.)

And here's how the rule is described by the president:

“It’s simple. If you make more money — more than $1 million a year, not if you have $1 million, but if you make more than $1 million a year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do.”

But the bill to be voted in the Senate doesn't say exactly that. It says those who earn more than $1 million would pay a higher rate than they currently pay, but only on income OVER $1 million. Not the full haul. Just the haul that passes the $1 million mark.

There's some fine reporting in Wednesday's Washington Post, the day after Obama's White House gig, that's worth a read.

But for me, anytime anyone in power in Washington talks about a fairer tax system or ending loopholes for big business and tax breaks for the wealthy, I grrrrr out loud.

Most of the people in Washington are there BECAUSE of big business or big labor or wealthy donors who then "help" write the tax code to their own advantage.

Anybody who thinks such advantages are ending or even being reduced anytime soon should consider re-evaluating their view of reality.

And one more thing: GRRRR!



Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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