Fair Share Is Not Enough

Administration changes tune, acknowledges Buffett Rule won’t reduce deficit or debt


The Obama administration Monday stressed that the Buffett Rule does not comprise the president’s entire tax plan and would not provide the answer to the nation’s debt, contradicting earlier claims. According to Politico:

The Obama administration is emphasizing “fairness” over deficit reduction in its renewed pitch for the “Buffett rule” ahead of next week’s scheduled Senate vote.

Introducing a minimum 30 percent income tax on millionaires “was never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control,” Jason Furman, the principal deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon. “This is not the president’s entire tax plan. We’re not trying to say this solves all our economic problems, all our budget problems.”

In September 2011, the president presented a more hopeful vision for the Buffett Tax at a DNC event:

What I’ve said is this is a very simple principle that everybody should understand: Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a lower [sic] tax rate than Warren Buffett. A teacher making $50,000 a year, or a firefighter making $50,000 a year or $60,000, shouldn’t be paying a higher tax rate than somebody making $50 million a year. And that basic principle of fairness, if applied to our tax code, could raise enough money that not only do we pay for our jobs bill, but we also stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade. And as I said when I made the announcement, this is not politics; this is math.