Saturday, April 14, 2012


I gather, from right-wingers, that we're supposed to regard it as appalling evidence of hypocrisy that the Obamas pay less in taxes than President Obama's secretary...

President Obama today released his 2011 federal income tax, with he and his wife reporting an adjusted gross income of $789,674. The Obamas paid $162,074 in total tax – an effective federal income tax rate of 20.5%....

President Obama's secretary, Anita Decker Breckenridge, makes $95,000 a year. White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage tells ABC News that Breckenridge "pays a slightly higher rate this year on her substantially lower income, which is exactly why we need to reform our tax code and ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share."

... but the Obamas don't qualify for the Buffett Rule:

...with this income, he does not even qualify for the so-called Buffett Rule that he has promoted relentlessly and the Senate will take up on Monday.

The Buffett Rule calls for those making over $1 million a year to pay a minimum tax rate, named after billionaire Warren Buffett.

Well, of course he doesn't. The Buffett Rule is dumbed down to the point where even ordinary Americans, despite being propagandized relentlessly for decades to reject their own class interests, can understand it: it applies to millionaires because even Americans can understand that if you earn a million dollars a year, you're earning a lot of money. Even decades of right-wing demagoguery can't displace that notion of fairness.

Obama tried talking about raising taxes on the well-to-do in the 2008 campaign, promising not to raise taxes on individuals making under $200,000 a year and couples making $250,000, and he was attacked for being a meanie to the "middle class," while Joe the Grifter Wurzelbacher lied about having plans to buy a business valued at just about Obama's cutoff point -- ad he was a humble plumber, darn it, not some fat cat!

Obama won the election, but he's had trouble winning the argument. So the Buffett Rule is idiot-proofed as much as possible: a million bucks a year. He had no choice. But now he's a hypocrite. He can't win.

1 comment:

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