The fine folks over at the Center for Individual Freedom compiled a list of their Top 5 Most Laughable Moments from this past week’s State of the Union. Teaser below and be sure to check out the remaining four, even if you’re BarryO. Actually, especially if you’re BarryO.
“Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.”
We’re only spending $1 trillion in this instance if you define “spending” as “failing to take from someone the money they’ve earned.” To understand how ludicrous this rationale is, consider the following: The same logic would lead you to conclude that we’re “spending” nearly $1 billion a year by failing to tax the American Cancer Society at a 100 percent rate.
Also, this Warren Buffett nonsense has to stop. Buffett’s tax rates are lower than his secretary’s because he’s being taxed on capital gains: the profits he’s made from investments made with after-tax dollars. When Buffett originally made that money in the form of earned income, he paid a rate at least as high as his secretary (and probably higher, given the nature of the progressive income tax system). One simply cannot advocate for renewed economic growth in one breath and then decry the fact that there isn’t a higher tax on job-creating investment in the next. This shouldn’t be surprising coming from Obama, however. In a debate during the 2008 campaign, he said that he would favor raising the capital gains tax even if it resulted in a reduction in tax revenue – as a matter of “fairness.”