Monday, September 19, 2011

Warren Peace

Today, as part of his alleged deficit reduction package, Barack Obama is expected to announce his desire to enact a new tax rate only for the rich, which he will call the "Buffet Rule" in honor of loudmouth billionaire Warren Buffet, who recently complained that he wasn't personally paying enough income taxes.

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama wants the tax to apply to everyone with an annual income of $1 million or more, no matter where the money came from. That last distinction is crucial, because the reason Warren Buffet pays an effectively lower tax rate than "working, middle class families" is that most of his income is from investment, and capital gains tax rates are lower than personal earning tax rates in order to encourage people to accept risk and invest in American businesses.

If the "Buffet Rule" was passed, it would effectively double the capital gains taxes on the largest investors in America...encouraging them to withdraw their money from potentially job-creating companies, thereby leaving investment decisions to the government geniuses who just blew a half-billion taxpayer dollars on Solyndra.

It's also interesting that Mr. Obama is making the distinction that this tax would fall "only" on millionaires and billionaires, suggesting that he's been aware all along that the "millionaire and billionaire" taxes he has been pushing would actually fall on the backs of those middle class earners and small business owners who cobble together a couple of hundred thousand dollars annually.

Of course, the "Buffet Rule" isn't going to go anywhere...nor was it meant to. Just like his cynical and pointless "American Jobs Act," the "Buffet Rule" is little more than another campaign tool intended to tar Republicans with being "millionaire lovers" and foment a little more class warfare.

But Hope n' Change thinks that Obama may actually be on to something with the idea of special taxes tailored ONLY to specific individuals, and we think the Republicans might actually be willing to agree to some of them. For instance:

"The Hoffa Rule" which imposes a 60% tax rate on any union member who foments violence.

"The Baldwin Rule" which imposes a 70% tax rate on all Hollywood liberals, with an additional 5% surtax each time they go on a talk show to say they're considering running for office.

"The Uncle Omar/Aunt Zeituni Rule" which imposes an 80% tax rate on anyone found to be related to two or more persons who are in this country illegally and sucking up welfare.

"The Ayres Rule" which imposes a 90% tax rate on all book royalties earned by anyone for autobiographies actually written by Bill Ayres.

"The Soros Rule" which imposes a 100% tax rate on any Hungarian billionaires who are also complete assholes.

C'mon, Mr. Obama! Pass these bills and, if you love us, pass them right now!

Don't worry. He promises to stop after the millionaires and billionaires.


Ricko Tyler, Texas said...

Class Warfare, verse two...$250K wasn't enough to start the let's try $1M. This tax and spend Progressive Socialist Boy Child has to go in 2012.

My Dog Brewski said...

Damn you, Barack! What did Steve Buscemi ever do to you?

John the Econ said...

I think the Obama Administration has officially entered "lame duck" status, well over a year early. We're now hearing Democrats openly attack Obama, and there's even rumblings of a primary challenge. I think it's safe to assume that anything and everything that comes out of the White House from this point on will be intended either as a attack on conservatives, or what is left of free America itself. Class warfare is pretty much all they have left.

"Stimulus Jr." (Porkulus ][) is getting zero traction. Obama's economic hacks are trying to sell us on the fantasy that it will create 1.3 to 1.9 million jobs. Has anyone done the math? That means (assuming it works, ha, ha) that we're buying each "job created" for $235k to $344k! (Only in Washington does something like that sound like a good deal.

We're also on the cusp of scandal season. We already have the Solyndra mess, which is the poster child for the failings and corruption of crony capitalism that has been the heart of the Obama economic agenda. Billions of dollars invested in phony "green" jobs lost; due either to poor business strategy, incompetence, or outright corruption.

We now have the "LightSquared" scandal, where the Obama White House instructed the FCC to allow a technically insane proposal that never should have seen the light of day to proceed to testing. LightSquared system was to provide broadband access using part of the radio spectrum reserved for low-powered space-based systems such as GPS, which inevitably would interfere with military, commercial and private users of GPS signals. LightSquared response to complaints was basically "Suck it up and buy new GPS units; we've got money to make here". Last week it was revealed that the White House was pressuring at least one general to soften up the military's concern about the problem.

And next up, it turns out that the Obama White House is what anywhere else in America would be legally considered a "Hostile Work Environment". (

Liberal treating women like crap? Who'd have known?

So as the Obama Administration continues to try to divide America with their class warfare, their own traditional coalitions continue to decay. The brainless who bought the "Hopey Changey" crap are mostly gone. The college kids who excitedly campaigned for "fundamental change" are now experiencing it through burger-flipping or unemployment. Seniors who have or wish to retire continue to watch their homes and investments stagnate or deflate while getting to experience the inflation the administration pretends doesn't exist. And even many black Americans are coming to the conclusion that the cost of electing America's first black president may not have been worth it, especially since the poverty and unemployment that it brought on hits them worse than any other demographic.

So all he's got left is class warfare, although fortunately he now has less tools at his disposal other than rhetoric to fight it. It's now the GOP's election to lose. Let's see if they ignore the Tea Party and nominate another "squishy" like the media wants them to, just like last time.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Speaking of Scandals, what ever happened to "Fast&Furious" aka "Gunwalker"?

John the Econ said...

Oh, and let's not forget that Obama's poster child for "Please Raise My Taxes" Warren Buffett is currently resisting paying over $1-billion in taxes that the IRS says is past-due.

What's the deal Warren? You said you should be paying more, so write the $%%#ing check. You're good for it. The rest of your billions are adequately sheltered.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

F&F is still out there, but in the world of available options Obama would rather people focus on anything but that, especially if he can still count on a percentage of the electorate to swallow his...lies. Unfortunately for him, Darrell Issa isn't playing along and these other issues are only a temporary distraction.

Jim Hlavac said...

At this point in time I'm beginning to think that Obama is just trying to make us laugh our tuckus off as a thank you for having just screwed things up. I read my paper's headline this AM: "Obama unveils strategy." Some strategy; laughing stock is more like it. With a tag line: "plan suggests $1.5 trillion in revenue." -- I guess the newspaper; with this AP story, can't figure out: "never to be passed plan demands tax hikes." It's mindless already, like chirping parrots in cages; "tax hike" "tax hike" over and over again. Though we are beginning to have to read our Pravda like soviets of old, between the lines, to ferret out the meaning of the 5-year plan.

Well, as we here all know, WB (hmm, Warner Brothers "that's all folks"? no, Buffett the Clown,) could give his entire fortune right now, and next week the government would need $40 Billion more; how such a smart man can simultaneously be an idiot, I don't know.

But I like your tax ideas Stilt; how about a 50% Democrat tax: anyone registered as a Democrat should have to pay double.

(and weirdly, since some of these taxes apply only to "married couples" not only are we gays off the hook, but perhaps many of you would consider divorce for financial reasons.)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- I'm enjoying your comments! But I must admit that I'm increasingly trying not to let the news from the Whitehouse distract or upset me, because none of it is about governance - it's all about campaigning, and nothing good will happen to our country or economy until whatever reforms are enacted in 2012 (I hope) start to get a toehold.

Until then, to quote Shakespeare, Obama's pronouncements amount to "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

But on the plus side, it would be nice to see the growing list of scandals really take root and damage Obama further.

John the Econ said...

When I got back in my far following one of my volunteer activities, apparently Obama had just finished another speech. Seems that it was quite pointless and amusing regarding taxes. What did I miss?

It's ironic, since one of his suggestions appears to be to eliminate the deductibility of charitable contributions. That's fine with me. As my work product gets taxed more, and my charitable contributions no longer get deducted, I will merely shift my time from work product (which is taxable) to charity, which is not. The net is that the government will be deprived of even more tax revenue, and the economy will be deprived of my work product. Just another example of an Obama economic "divider" effect.

Colby said...

"Hello, Warren? Yeah, it's me, Barry. Let's make a little deal here. You let me parade you around like a monkey and tell people you actually WANT to pay more taxes, and I just may be able to make that $billion you owe, you know, like... go away."

I just heard it again on the radio. If the gubmint confiscated (not taxed - CONFISCATED) 100% of the money of everybody making $10 million or more per year, it would fund the gubmint for a whole MONTH! But, by God, those evil bastards DESERVE it!

I just happen to work for some of those "evil bastards," and I sincerely pray that this crap never actually happens to them. I LIKE my evil bastards and hope they will soon be doing business in a U.S. that is once again business friendly. If so, I'm pretty sure my "evil bastards" will start hiring some of my unemployed friends.

Emmentaler Limburgher said...

Buffet isn't the only jackass to have been spewing such crap (in any case, it is interesting, but not surprising, to hear of his hypocrisy). I seem to recall reports of Bill Gates, oddly silent at the moment, spewing the same garbage (as well as others I cannot recall at the moment) as I listened to Patriot Radio while traversing the frozen tundras of Ontario two years ago. But we've know for a long time that some of the wealthiest people are the most liberal-minded. A hell of a paradox, if you ask me: Know all kinds of good ways to support their vision of society - but can't seem to figure out how to do it with their own sheckles.

@Jim: dump the newspaper. Your giving aid and comfort to the enemy by remaining in their subscriber count. Shit! They're lying to you for your price of admission, anyway. If you want lies, just get the transcript of any Democratic speech....

Anonymous said...

(By the way: What's the difference between the 0bama presibency and a battery?

Yup! You guessed it: a battery has a positive side...)

Anonymous said...

I'd first like to point out that "crony capitalism" is an oxymoron created by the progressive left-stream media (bad, bad, BAD joke) to polarize people against actual Capitalism and cover for what cronyism really is.

In reality, cronyism is an art form. It's the "marriage of private and public" that the regressive "progressive movement" and enslaving "liberal mindset" love and move towards. It is the kinder way to refer to mercantilism and fascism. It is the less aggressive reference to marxism as a whole, and another attempt to shift label from nazism, communism, and socialism that are all failed ideas.

They are the same idea; the same marriage of failed ideologies. They are the same exact fallacies that our Founding Fathers fought and died to secure against. We have to recognize this fact. We have to keep cronyism and Capitalism distinct and separate. We have to keep the mindset appraised of the distinction. The marriage of cronyism to Capitalism is that statist's wet dream. It is a divisive and coercive tool to keep the masses from seeing the erosion of their freedoms.

Whenever I hear any politician talk about the wealth producers needing to pay their "fair share", I am reminded of what the Founding Fathers had to say, and exactly how they tackled the problem. They believed that forced taxation would only lead to the tyranny they just escaped. They felt it would burden and eventually enslave the population of, at the time, the Colonies. The ability to tax the people was not put into the original language of the Constitution because they believed that exactly what has happened over the past hundred-ish years WOULD HAPPEN.

The demoncrats have systematically ensured the erosion of our freedoms and enslavement of the people to the government. They have also systematically ensured the erosion of the great foundation the Republicans once stood on. The questionable ratification of the Constitutional Amendment to allow taxation wasn't the start, but I say it was the tipping point.

Since the beginning, the tax code has gone well beyond it's seemingly benign intentions. It has become the demoncratic wet dream of political favors and power grabs. They say "fair share" to draw attention away from their own mismanagement and, worse, move towards a false utopia built on shattered dreams and and good intentions.

I'd like to remind the statists of one, simple fact. "The road to Hell is paved in good intentions."

You can keep your cronyism. You can keep your lies and propaganda. You can keep your entitlement programs. They are "good intentions" that destroy economies, distort truth, and enslave free people. You use taxation to create class warfare, and you do not care about the consequences. The more you demonize the most useful, resourceful, and potent forces of our society...the more you ostracize, condemn, and marginalize the rest.

If we must have a tax, I support only either a fair tax or a national sales tax. They have their pros and cons. The main pro is continued and Constitutional maintenance of fire, police, rescue, and military. The main con is an increased cost of living. I think it's a fair trade.

One interesting addendum to the fair tax proposal is as follows: The government cannot in any way, form, shape, or fashion touch the first $35,000 of anybody's income. Although a significant con remains of any form of income tax. The government knows something it has no right to, every individuals income. Small quibble to the pro of national security (secure those abominable borders!).

Dragon Against Evil

TheOldMan said...

@JimHlavac '...and weirdly, since some of these taxes apply only to "married couples" not ...' No you are not off the hook. Notice that when politicians talk about taxes, they typically mention the married rates, ie filing jointly, because those income trigger levels are higher. Singles, etc... get whacked at a lower income level. More social manipulation via the tax system.

@Emmentaler, rich folks can afford to be liberal-minded, they already have their fortunes.

John the Econ said...

@Emmentaler Limburgher said "But we've know for a long time that some of the wealthiest people are the most liberal-minded. A hell of a paradox, if you ask me"

Not really. I believe that many of these people wish to keep "being rich" an exclusive club. Their tax policies are consistent with this. High income taxes prevent new people from accumulating competitive wealth, while they get to keep theirs. Hardly a paradox. Merely strategic thinking.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Per your suggestion that you'll simply move more of your efforts to the charitable side of things (and "good on you" for that!), I think that the more confiscatory and dictatorial tax policies get, the more you're going to see an expansion in the "underground economy" of cash payments, bartering, and otherwise flying under the radar. It's ironic when people feel they must turn to "criminal" behavior to avoid being robbed.

@Colby- I've wondered if Buffet and Obama might have an "understanding" about all of this. Having this quotable position from Buffet is certainly worth a billion dollars to Barry's campaign (especially if it's not his money).

@Emmentaler- I think at least some super-wealthy types are liberals because money has come to them so unfairly, and in such abundance, that they assume it's that way for everyone. Seriously, who the hell really "earns" $20 million for spending a few weeks shooting a movie? Granted, that price is set by the marketplace...but it's still a goofy imbalance in the way things ought to be. Although unlike liberals, conservatives don't try to re-jigger the system to correct such imbalances because there's no way to make it work.

@Anonymous (four above)- Hey, I like the battery joke!

@Anonymous (three above)- Great post! No need for me to single out talking points for individual comment, as I agree with you straight down the line.

@The Old Man- Good catch about the game being played by the government in referring to "a married couple earning $250,000" in order to divert attention from the fact that the tax penalty is actually imposed at a $200,000 threshold on an individual. And I, for one, am sick to death of hearing individuals who earn $200k being referred to as "billionaires."

Think about it: if a person earned $200k per year and had NO expenses and NO taxes, it would take them 5,000 years to earn a billion! So why doesn't the media take issue with this frickin' president who currently argues that his policy of attacking earners "isn't class warfare, it's math."

@John the Econ (again!)- Although I earlier suggested that some wealthy liberals are simply aware that they got their money easily and unfairly, I think you're right that there are also rich people who simply don't want to let any nouveau riche into their little club. What's the fun of being a member of royalty unless there are also peasants?

Pete(Detroit) said...

Dragon - if you choose "Name/URL" just above Anon, you can put your name in - it's what I (and I assume many others) do. And, bonus, if you use Firefox, it will remember it for you!

JustaJeepGuy said...

Don't forget the rich who were simply born into their money. Their wealth-protections (offshore accounts, fancy accounting, etc.) were set up before they had a chance to be required to manage the money themselves, so as to protect it from--guess who!--the government. They usually feel a touch of guilt for having money, but not enough to give it to the taxman--just enough to try to make those who didn't inherit their money shell out to "help the poor".

Pete(Detroit) said...

As the sign (standard at TP rallies) says "Share my work ethic, not my wealth"

Colby said...

Just for kicks....

... and this guy is our leader. Everything that comes out of his mouth is either said out of complete ignorance of the facts, or is a bold faced lie. Either way, we need some real change and we need it quickly!

And, I still love the mental image of BO in an auditorium full of college students talking about construction jobs. I'm sure all of these students are studying their asses off so they can shovel concrete after they graduate. 'Course, I guess it's that or flip burgers....

FlyBoy said...

Test Comment

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Flyboy- I'm glad you didn't leave a testy comment.

John the Econ said...

Anyone read Obama's tax plan? Seems he really is trying to piss off everyone!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- That is his plan. He knows that nothing will pass, but if he gets the Right pissed off he can point at our "intolerance" and "partisanship."

badlarry said...

November 2, 2012 can't come fast enough.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Colby, I've flipped burgers. It doesn't suck NEARLY as much as construction.
Of course, you don't gte nearly as buffed up, either..
But one of the best summers of my life was working in a local Bar&Grill (Grill speaking). Pay was good (and mostly under the table), co-workers were cute, and if I finished up early I could drink free until close. Not all bad!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Badlarry- Amen to that!

@Pete(Detroit)- Following college (which I paid for myself), I had jobs including being a waiter, being a pizza cook, and mowing lawns. The waiter job paid $1 an hour plus tips (and the tips were rotten). But I accepted the fact that I had to work my way UP to a decent job and a decent living.

Major bonus: while working as a pizza cook I met a wonderful waitress who is now Mrs. Jarlsberg.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Definite major bonus Stilt! Yay YOU! Hell, yay you both, if you've been married for more than a few years..