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The lonely death of the Buffett Rule

 

Behind the spectacular pyrotechnics of the fiery end to Obama’s “War on Women,” another extensively cultivated campaign instrument was dying a lonelier, quieter death.  This is the week the “Buffett Rule” became a national joke, and an increasingly annoyed America made it clear they’ve heard more than enough about it.

These two events are partially connected, because Obama was making a huge push for his Buffett Rule class-warfare act this week, and Hilary Rosen stole what little thunder he was building.  Obama spent a gigantic amount of taxpayer money flying around the country to push his absurd millionaire tax scheme, which would raise just enough money to run his government for 11 hours per year.  In fact, if you calculate the hourly value of Obama’s time based on his salary, add in travel and security costs, and wisely assume the Buffett Rule – like every tax increase – would bring in less money than even the pitiful $4.7 billion it was projected to gather in annual revenue, it’s possible Obama already spent all the money it would have raised in the first year, just to promote it.  Well, okay, maybe you’d have to throw in a couple of General Services Administration parties in Las Vegas and junkets in Hawaii to get to four billion dollars.

The epitaph for the Buffett Rule arrived on Friday, when, as National Journal reports, it was revealed that contrary to his endless assurances to the contrary, Barack Obama himself does not qualify for the Buffett Rule surtax.

President Obama earned $789,674 in 2011, the White House announced on Friday. However, 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. The president did earn over $1 million in previous years–$1.7 million in 2010 and $5.5 million in 2009.

The president paid $162,074 in taxes with an effective federal income tax rate of 20.5 percent, according to the returns.

No word on whether the President voluntarily chipped in any extra to pay off the national debt, as he wants to force other people to do.  Also, I haven’t seen whether or not he used any of those evil tax deductions, or “loopholes,” to use the preferred class warfare term.  Of course, unlike most of us, the Obamas got a hell of a lot more in direct value from the federal government than they paid in taxes.

President Obama did give a healthy $172,130 of his income to charity, which deserves praise.  His likely 2012 opponent, Mitt Romney, gave $7 million to charity over the past two years.  That’s over twenty times as much, and a slightly lower percentage of a vastly larger income.  Obama, you see, has never held a real job as Hilary Rosen would define it, while Romney is a highly successful businessman.  A stark lesson in the charitable power of wealth lies within these numbers, for anyone who isn’t still hugging themselves and singing nursery rhymes about using money from millionaire taxes to subsidize more solar-panel bankruptcies.

So, the next time you hear Obama telling you to ignore the titanic fiscal disaster he has engineered, by assuring you he can’t wait to raise taxes on rich people like himself, understand that he’s not only taking you for a fool.  He’s lying to you, and he has always been lying to you.

Update: In case you’re keeping score on charitable donations, Vice President Joe Biden gave a tiny $5,540 to charity last year.  That’s about 1.5 percent of his income.

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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