Buffetted by Tax Hikes

Speaking in Florida (unemployment rate 9.6 percent, No. 1 in the nation for foreclosures), President Barack Obama reiterated his demand for a tax increase based on the so-called Buffett Rule, a non-solution to a non-problem intended mainly to distract from the administration’s non-solutions to real problems.

The Buffett Rule would function as a secondary alternative-minimum tax, putatively to accomplish what the primary alternative-minimum tax has failed to do: sock it to billionaires (“billionaires” here being defined in some instances as “individuals making $250,000 a year,” which is mathematically suspect). The case for the Buffett Rule is built upon a myth cultivated by President Obama, by Warren Buffett, and by many of their supporters and admirers: that high-income Americans pay lower tax rates than middle-class Americans. This is a falsehood, one that has been amply documented with data from the tax experts at the IRS and by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

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