How is that possible? First, the measure would raise less than $5 billion a year (the CBO scored it even less at $3.2 billion). But Democrats in the senate want to use the Buffett rule to replace the Alternative Minimum Tax for middle class taxpayers. This would add significantly to the deficit.
Wall Street Journal:
The case for the Buffett tax keeps eroding. When President Obama announced the idea, he said it would help "stabilize our debt and deficits over the next decade." Then came the inconvenient revelation that the new 30% millionaire's tax would raise only $46.7 billion over 10 years, and would leave about 99.5% of the deficit intact in 2013. It was a far cry from "stabilizing the debt."
Now we learn that the Buffett tax the Senate is expected to vote on early next week will make the deficit worse. That's because both Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats have made it clear that their new "fairness" tax is to offset the revenue loss from another provision related to the Alternative Minimum Tax.
That measure would exempt more than 20 million middle class Americans with incomes as low as $80,000 a year from getting nailed by the AMT. This year's Obama budget clearly describes their intent: "The Buffett Rule should replace the Alternative Minimum Tax, which now burdens middle-class Americans rather than stopping the richest Americans from paying too little as was originally intended."
The Joint Tax Committee-the official scoring referee on tax bills-calculates that the combination of AMT repeal for the middle class and the Buffett tax would add $793.3 billion to the debt over the next decade. As Mr. Obama has said, "This isn't politics, this is math."
Evidently, the president flunked arithmetic (in addition to American history, constitutional law, and probably a few other subjects. We'll never know because he won't release his grades.)
The snow job this president is doing on the American voter is fascinating to watch. His latest pitch for the Buffett rule is that it will spur economic growth. Eventually, the president will get around to claiming that passing the rule will cure cancer, bring peace to the world, and stop global warming.
If only it could make the deficit magically disappear...