Note to Pres. Obama: The Rich Don’t Pay Less Than Their Secretaries
For the past couple weeks, President Obama has made it seem as though millionaires and billionaires (you know, those dastardly job creators) pay less in taxes than middle class Americans. If this were such a widespread and rampant problem, why did President Obama’s favorite billion wait until August to pen an op-ed in the New York Times decrying it?
That’s because it’s not really a problem.
“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it,” the President said as he campaigned for tax hikes to pay for more government spending.
If Warren Buffett’s secretary pays more in taxes than Warren Buffett, it’s because Mr. Buffett is taking full advantage of the “more than $1 trillion in deductions, exemptions and credits” in the tax code. As we’ve mentioned before, if Warren Buffett wants to pay more in taxes, he can choose not to take those loopholes or donate to the government, either via tax forms which allows you pay more than you owe or through the treasury website which lets people donate specifically to debt reduction. Go ahead, Mr. Buffett, be “patriotic.”
For more than 99.4% of “millionaires and billionaires,” they pay the federal income tax and pay far, far more in taxes than middle class Americans. They pay on average 29.1% of their income in federal taxes. Compare that with households who make between $50,000 and $75,000 who pay about 15% of their income in federal taxes. Just 1,470 households – presumably this includes Mr. Buffett – making over $1 million paid no federal income tax. So yes, the rich pay more and almost always at a higher rate.
But none of this matters to President Obama. He wants to raise taxes on many of America’s best job creators to catch the few like his friend Warren Buffett. Somehow he’s gotten it into his head that even though wages for the wealthy are taxed at 35%, they somehow pay less than middle class Americans who pay 15%.
Even though he once claimed that he wouldn’t raise taxes during a poor economy, it seems he’s perfectly alright with doing just that – so long as the tax hikes come after the 2012 re-election. It’s a pattern we’ve seen shaping up earlier this year, with the debt ceiling negotiation.
The President had once claimed “the only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.”Now he makes a campaign promise: “These proposals would generally become effective on January 1, 2013.”
How does he expect to win re-election by threatening tax hikes on small businesses, family farmers and job creators?