Let Obama have his “Buffett Rule.”

I have changed my mind. Until now, I have opposed raising taxes on “the rich.” The very idea that the wealthiest taxpayers don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes, as President Obama is constantly saying, is so much populist drivel. The top 10 percent of earners in America pay more than 70 percent of taxes while those in the bottom 50 percent pay essentially nothing.

I not only oppose raising taxes on the rich, I oppose raising taxes on anyone. Our problem is not under-taxation. The federal treasury is collecting about 19 percent of gross domestic product in taxes, a percentage that has been remarkably stable over the years irrespective of tax rates.

The reason we are running gargantuan deficits and the reason that we are piling debt upon debt is because of over-spending. The federal government is currently spending about 25 percent of GDP, up from under 20 percent as recently as 2007. As a result, the federal budget deficit has gone from $158 billion in 2007 to over $1.2 trillion today.

But with all of this said I am nevertheless changing my mind regarding Obama’s proposal of the so-called “Buffett Rule” – the rule under which high-income earners would have to pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent, even if their incomes are derived entirely from investment as opposed to wages. I am going to stop, at least for now, pointing out that taxing investment at the same rates as wage income will have a devastating impact on business growth, investment and job creation. I’m going to quit harping on the fact that money that is used for investment is almost always money that has already been taxed. I’m just going to let it go because as correct as these arguments are, I am not changing any minds.

Instead, I am urging House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to arrange a meeting with the president at which they say, “Fine, Mr. President. We’ll give you what you want. But only if you agree to go out in public and accept responsibility, in advance, on behalf of the Democratic Party and liberals everywhere, for the results.”

If the arguments that conservatives have been making won’t change any minds, the results will. The results will not be pretty.

First, in all likelihood, federal revenues will actually decline. The wealthy have the greatest range of options with respect to when, where and under what circumstances they engage in the transactions that produce taxable income. If wealthy taxpayers are faced with an unfriendly tax environment, they will time their taxable transactions accordingly. The wealthy, more than any other group, can afford to wait. And wait they will.

Thus investment capital will dry up. Investment is not optional if you want to grow an economy so our already anemic economic growth will once again turn negative.

As for those young, enthusiastic voters that helped propel Obama into office; they will find themselves as debt-laden college graduates unable to find jobs.

Home values will continue to decline. Retirement plans will continue to lose value. Household wealth will continue its downward slide.

All of this will put even more strain on an already overspent federal treasury and the already stratospheric federal deficit will go even higher.

None of this will be pleasant but I’m now convinced it’s necessary. Only by tying liberal policy positions to real world results, as Boehner and McConnell should force Obama to do as a condition of enacting his agenda, will liberalism start to be discredited among those that still don’t get it.

It will be painful, no question. But in the end, it will be worth it.

And it may be our only remaining hope.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. L Miles says:


    Please reconsider your position:

    “Only by tying liberal policy positions to real world results, as Boehner and McConnell should force Obama to do as a condition of enacting his agenda, will liberalism start to be discredited among those that still don’t get it.”

    How large a mountain of evidence does the country need in order to discredit the Marxist/Socialist/Liberal policy positions that have already created disastrous real world results as the country continues to suffer under the Obama dissolution of economic freedom he has planned for us as he tries to establish his utopian serfdom.

    Why don’t we vote for another Obama presidential term and prove to the country that he is a Marxist demagogue?

    The TRUTH must be defended at ALL costs. The end does not justly the means.

    Those “that still don’t get it by now” are the willing dupes of a demonic force that thrives on the BIG LIE. Hitler tried it and won the argument as freedom was destroyed in Germany. Beware of what you wish for!

  2. L Miles says:

    Gasoline has doubled in price since the Obama regime took power. Has Obama taken ANY responsibility for the price increase? NOOOO. What makes anyone believe that a further demise of the US economy that would be caused by the “Buffett Rule” would be acknowledged by the Obama propaganda machine no matter what the up front deal that Boehner and McConnell forced on him. (Buffett is now fighting a $1 billion tax bill that the IRS says he owes. What a hypocrite.) Obama (the child) is still blaming Bush for the poor “economic recovery” we are experiencing now – the dog ate my homework.

    Furthermore, Obama is TRYING TO HARM the US economy in order to create as much dependency on his “benevolent” Washington bureaucracy because he knows he can get away with it. If anyone doesn’t know it yet, Obama is trying to replace Capitalism with a Marxist/Socialist, Shared Prosperity, Social Justice Economy ruled by his minions. That should be our message to the remaining ignorant dupes of Obama! The Obama abysmal economic track record and astronomical debt he has authored should be enough to alarm anyone with a brain! Why give up now?

  3. Sdrake says:

    What a lot of the people don’t understand is if you don’t have a goal of at a minimum $1million as a goal for retirement, you are missing the retirement boat by a long shot. That is just not as much money as it used to be.
    So, with that in mind and understanding that over 60% of working America participate in the markets or savings of some sort for retirement. Right now the democrats say the “Buffett rule” would apply only to those who earn a million or more, BUT open the door and they will walk through to lower that requirement over time. Obama also said that if you earned less than $250,000 in income, your taxes would not increase one thin dime. LIE!! My taxes increased last year because of the health insurance my company provides. The average premium for company provided health insurance is $1100 per month. This became earned income last year and was addes to your W-2 to reflect it. I paid additional $2400 in taxes last year that I wouldn’t have had to pay before Obamacare. This is their way of “paying for it” before the so called benefits kick in when 2014 rolls around.
    Back to the savings…anything not in a qualified plan including interest bearing checking accounts would eventually be taxed as capital gains by these tax and spend fanatics if we allow the “Buffett rule” to pass. Listen to them scream about doing away with loopholes, and think about this possibility. One step at a time is how they intend to do it.
    I find it interesting that “loopholes” are actually deductions in the IRS code that are legal, and were passed by the congress. An example is the interest deduction on home mortgage that would effect homeowners across the country. Just one example of many.
    Don’t jump on the bandwagon of “tax the rich” before remembering they are never satisfied, and be careful to consider what you would wish on others that you wouldn’t like for yourself.

  4. Thomas Martin says:


    I get the analogy and I see the point you make, however I do not think we should even give the impression that we ascribe to any proposal that this man makes.

    As a rock solid Tea Party conservative, I believe we should find alternatives and oppose virtually everything from the liberal side of the aisle.

    I get it….I just have gone as far as I can to tolerate these socialist ideas and am at the breaking point. I would rather that our leaders in the House and Senate direct their response to exposing the insanity of Obama’s proposal and offer alternatives from a conservative point of view.

    Expose him….for what it is and how damaging it is to our country.

    Tom Martin

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