The Day In 100 Seconds: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

The Day In 100 Seconds: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems


It may have taken President Obama and the Democrats months of building up the Buffett Rule as a way to boost equity in the tax code, but it only took Fox News and Republicans a few hours to knock it back down. Divisive? Check. Wealth redistribution? Check. Gimmick? Check, Check, Check.

But, unsurprisingly, even the most exciting tax policy vote couldn’t hold a candle to the Secret Service prostitution scandal that broke over the weekend.

President Obama

Obama’s Buffett Rule: Just a political gimmick?

President Obama's Buffett Rule, which would tax incomes of $1 million or more at a rate of 30 percent, would raise an extra $47 billion over the next decade.

Following, are three opinions on President Obama’s “Buffet Rule”…

The Week

The president passionately argues that we ought to hike taxes on the very richest Americans — which, if nothing else, is a handy campaign talking point

President Obama has been making a lot of hay about the Buffett Rule. Named after billionaire Warren Buffett, who has famously said he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, the rule would set a baseline tax rate of 30 percent for yearly incomes over $1 million. The Obama administration says enacting this policy is a matter of economic fairness and common sense, and that it would be the first step toward closing our massive budget deficit. His opponents, however, see nothing more than a cynical campaign ploy. Is the Buffett Rule just smoke and mirrors?


It won’t solve the country’s fiscal problems: The Buffett Rule is a “gimmick,” says Dana Milbank at The Washington Post. The Buffett Rule would raise a paltry $47 billion in revenue over the next 10 years, a drop in the bucket compared to our annual $1.2 trillion deficit. It’s too bad Obama “doesn’t use his unrivaled political skill to sell a tax plan of more consequence.”
“Rebuffing Obama’s gimmicky ‘Buffett Rule'”


But it does highlight economic inequality: “The Buffett Rule is a compelling symbol” of economic inequality in America, says The New York Times in an editorial. Obama has “persuasively argued that it would be a step toward fairness in a tax code tilted in favor of the wealthiest Americans.” And he has every right to make the “serious and growing problem” of income inequality “a central issue in this year’s campaign.” We hope that the Buffett Rule “is only a start,” and that Obama takes other steps “to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared among all Americans.”
“Mr. Obama and the ‘Buffett Rule'”


And voters seem to agree with Obama: Polls show that about 60 percent of Americans think the U.S. economic system “favors the wealthy,” says Ari Berman at The Nation. So “it makes no sense to discard a populist message that is clearly resonating among a majority of the electorate.” Obama’s “focus on income inequality has put the GOP on the defensive,” and shifting gears “would be political suicide, not to mention terrible public policy.”
“Why economic populism is a winning strategy for Obama”

West Wing Week

West Wing Week: 4/13/12 or “You’re Proof of Change”

The White House

This week, the President hosted a forum on Women and the Economy, welcomed the President of Brazil, traveled to Florida to urge the Senate to pass the Buffett Rule, and took part in the great annual White House tradition — the Easter Egg Roll.

Related Topics: Inside the White House
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President Barack Obama · Uncategorized

Ten Facts About The Obama Budget

Let’s see how the GOP will respond to “The Obama ‘populous’ Budget”.

Think Progress

President Obama unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2013 this morning in Virginia, touting it as a budget that took a balanced approach toward investigating in American economic growth now while reducing the nation’s deficit over the long-term. The budget is a step in the right direction, using both tax increases and spending cuts to cut the deficit and investing in infrastructure and other job creation measures to continue the economic recovery.

Like any budget, Obama’s is complicated, containing investments and cuts to various programs. With that in mind, ThinkProgress compiled 10 facts about the Obama budget based on the White House fact sheet and other reports:

1. The budget includes $350 billion in short-term measures to encourage job growth, including $50 billion in immediate infrastructure investment, $30 billion to rebuild schools, and year-long extensions of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance.

2. The implementation of the Buffett Rule and the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy helps reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

3. For every $1 in new revenue from those making more than $250,000 per year and from closing corporate loopholes, the budget has $2.50 in spending cutsincluding the deficit reduction enacted over the last year.

4. The total budget reduces the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.

5. Obama preserves the maximum Pell Grant award, a key difference from the GOP budget, and makes permanent then Americans Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps 9 million families afford the costs of college.

6. Unlike the last two GOP budgets, Obama’s budget protects Medicare and Medicaid from structural changes, and through small tweaks, saves $360 billion from those programs.

7. States will receive $30 billion in aid to prevent further layoffs of firefighters, teachers, and police officers, some of the hardest-hit workforces in the nation.

8. The budget eliminates 12 tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal companies, saving $41 billion over 10 years.

9. Obama preserves planned cuts to the Defense Department negotiated in the debt limit deal last August.

10. The budget maintains goals of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015; doubling share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035; and reducing buildings’ energy use by 20 percent by 2020.

As the Center for American Progress’ Michael Linden notes, Obama’s budget is far from perfect. It’s spending caps are too low, it’s defense cuts are too small, and it contains less new revenue than bipartisan plans like Simpson-Bowles and Rivlin-Domenici. But it prioritizes job creation and economic development and keeps America on the path to recovery, something Republican plans, unfortunately, fail to do.