Home Budget, Economy Surprise: Media Misses the Point on Buffett Rule

Surprise: Media Misses the Point on Buffett Rule


Beltway pundits like Dana Milbank have been bashing the Buffett rule – slightly higher tax rates on a handful of the wealthiest Americans – as insufficient to fully close America’s budget gap. But as TPM’s Brian Beutler details, they’re completely missing the point:

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says it would raise about $160 billion over 10 years. That’s not a huge figure. But if Republicans win big in November and make the Bush tax cuts permanent, a Buffett Rule could in theory serve as a bulwark to both preserve a measure of fairness in the tax code and hold on to a small but significant source of revenue for important but cash-starved federal priorities.

And yet all of this is largely beside the point. All Buffett Rule critics knock Obama for not pursuing more comprehensive tax reforms. If they’d paid even passing attention to the events of 2011, they’d know that the only tax reforms Republicans back either raise no revenue, or are conditioned on the idea of locking in the Bush tax cuts permanently. They imply future cuts to government programs that neither Democrats nor most Americans are prepared to accept, but are at the root of the GOP’s tax strategy. The Buffett Rule is designed to make those demands politically noxious – and perhaps clear the way toward a more reasonable approach to balancing the country’s priorities.

The Buffett Rule is the bare minimum Congress can do, the lowest of the low-hanging fruit to even begin to make our tax code a little more favorable to middle-class families and a little less favorable to millionaires like Mitt Romney, George Allen and Rep. Eric Cantor. If Congressional Republicans won’t even support that, Dana Milbank thinks it’s President Obama’s fault for not pushing for more comprehensive reforms? To show your support for tax fairness, call your Senator, write a letter to the editor or join a MoveOn Tax Day protest in your community.

  • Tim Kaine sounds just as ignorant as Milbank in today’s Examiner. And here’s the kicker: No one loved Kaine’s comments more than Republican political operatives:

    Republicans jumped all over Kaine’s comments, slamming his stance on taxes and poking fun at Obama for failing to win over a close ally and good friend. Kaine previously served as Democratic National Committee chairman under Obama.

    “It speaks volumes when Tim Kaine is criticizing President Obama, of all people, for not taxing and spending nearly enough,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh.

    When GOP operatives are giddily cheering you on, check your shoe – you know you’ve stepped in.  

  • Pretty much everything. I  mean, yesterday was the classic case, with almost every flaw of the corporate media on full display, in the ridiculous brouhaha over a random comment by some random political operative nobody ever heard of. How on earth was any of that news? Even worse, how did that random political operative’s comment about Ann Romney being rich manage to compensate for years of a massive, across-the-board, assault by Republicans and conservative commentators on women’s right, on the working and middle classes (of which women make up a significant percentage), and on women themselves (see Rush Limbaugh or many others’ nasty/derogatory comments about women, like Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell’s yesterday)? Finally, how in bloody hell does random comment a by random/irrelevant political operative result in an EQUIVALENCY between the “one side” (Republicans waging all-out war on women’s rights) and the “other side” (apparently, a random/irrelevant political operative you never heard of now represents all Democrats, despite immediate condemnations and/or distancing from pretty much…all Democrats). Bottom line: the corporate media sucks beyond suck, utterly atrocious drivel, infotainment, triviality, irrelevance, and false equivalency masquerading as “journalism.” #FAIL #FAIL #FAIL #FAIL #FAIL

  • aznew

    As Steve Benen over at the Maddow Blog notes, it’s not raising a tax, it’s closing a loophole.


  • No Party

    This is just the start.Im afraid Obama is on his way out.

  • See here for more.