Kinsley: The Problem the Buffett Rule Won’t Fix
As everybody knows by now, Warren Buffett -- class traitor -- pays a smaller share of his income in taxes than does his secretary, Debbie Bosanek. In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama proposed the “Buffett Rule” to rectify this.
The rule would be a phased-in requirement that all taxpayers making more than $1 million a year pay federal taxes of at least 30 percent of their adjusted gross incomes. If your taxes worked out to be less than that, you would owe Uncle Sam the difference.
Who could object? Well, Newt Gingrich -- class clown -- called the idea “stupid.” And Mitt Romney -- class president -- said he doesn’t believe in raising taxes on anybody under any circumstances: a nice, nuanced view, which at least saves us the trouble of arguing about it. It’s really impossible to defend a system where people at the bottom pay 30 percent or 35 percent (including Social Security and Medicare taxes) while people at the top who’ve arranged their affairs correctly -- not all that hard -- pay 15 percent, as Romney did last year. Nevertheless, there are problems with the Buffett Rule, which would become law under a bill introduced Wednesday in Congress.