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Monday, October 2, 2023


Obama will use ‘Buffett Tax’ to sling mud ahead of 2012 election

Campaign season is in full swing again, and every politician from Fairfax to Washington, D.C., knows it. This includes President Barack Obama, who proposed the so-called Buffett Tax, named after billionaire Warren Buffett earlier last week. In a statement earlier this year, Buffett said that the rich have been paying too few taxes in comparison to the everyday American, specifically that even he paid less taxes than his secretary.

Admittedly, to the average Joe this not only sounds good, it makes sense; millionaires and billionaires such as Buffett should be contributing a bit more, especially now in these frightening financial times. If the rich were to contribute more of their wealth to the government, that should take some of the weight off middle-class America. So if this is such a great-sounding idea, who wouldn’t pass it?

The answer: House Republicans. And that’s exactly Obama’s plan, as was the case with the recent American Jobs Act which has already been pointed out to be largely ineffective in the end.

That’s not the president’s current objective, howeve;, the true objective, as is the case with every other candidate running in the 2012 presidential election, is to gather enough dirt to make the other side look as absolutely disgusting as possible.

After all, who in their right mind would vote for the party that at every single turn derides the president and his party, advocating cost cuts to crucial social welfare programs and refusing to raise taxes on the ultra wealthy? But on the reverse, who in their right mind would vote for the party and president that sought to raise taxes at every turn, stuff more debt into a bloated and broken entitlement state, and only after fierce debate and outrageous public outcry, agree to start cutting both costs and taxes.

This is no new development. The Democrats and Obama have wanted to raise taxes on the wealthy ever since they re-assumed power from the Bush administration. Likewise, the Republicans have wanted to cut down hefty entitlement programs such as Social Security and Obamacare. It’s been an endless back and forth between these two political parties, and when stubborn, ideologue-spewing forces collide, nobody wins — the country loses, and the people suffer tremendously.

President Obama knows full well that the Republicans are likely to prevent this tax from being implemented. He is pressuring the Republicans to fault in their ideals and their beliefs by giving them an ultimatum: Do what I say or you will look incredibly greedy and outright despicable to the American people.

Never mind that raising taxes on the wealthy won’t do a single thing to alleviate the actual suffering of everyday Americans other than provide more money for the government to pump into ineffective, broken and overloaded social entitlement programs like welfare and Medicaid.

The reason you clean up systems like welfare and Medicaid is the same reason you clean your gutters. If you leave it alone for too long, eventually things will start to pile up and the entire system will just collapse. Just as there are too many loopholes in the tax system that need to be closed (a flat tax rate would fix that), there are just as many loopholes and flaws in our numerous entitlement programs that need to be patched up, closed up or, if need be, cast aside and rebuilt entirely from scratch.

And the Republicans are falling right into Obama’s political ploy, perhaps because that’s all they can do at this point. It was either to allow President Obama to paint them as the villains as this and hope the American people can tell the difference by election day or allow him to, as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said on Fox News Sunday, “add further instability to our system.”

Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, believes that the Buffett Tax will only create “more uncertainty, and it punishes job creation and those that create jobs.”

It can be argued up and down the hall whether or not giving the wealthy tax breaks will stir job creation, but it can’t be argued whether or not Obama sincerely believed the Republicans would allow his proposal to pass.

They have fought him at every turn thus far, so to think they would change their tune, to deviate from their own political rhetoric this late in the game is preposterous.

At this point there should be no surprise as to how the Republicans would react to any suggestion to a tax increase, and there should be no surprise as to why, knowing this, Obama would try to suggest such a thing in the first place.

The Republicans get to dig their own graves in the eyes of the public come Nov. 2, 2012, and the Democrats have a leg to stand on during the campaign season.

It’s hard to blame Obama for this, though. He is, after all, just fighting to keep his job.

I just wish he would focus a bit more on helping us keep ours.

James Wang is a history freshman and may be reached at [email protected].

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