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February 3, 2012
Should the GOP support 'The Buffet Rule?'
With such a catchy name as The Millionaire's Tax, who would oppose such a tax? No one I know, that's for sure and that's the point. The tax is designed not to raise revenue, but to get Republicans into a high profile media fight to protect those "millionaires and billionaires" with whom the Obama administration wants the public to associate them. This is nothing new.
President Obama has been playing the class warfare game for months but we have to look only at Candidate Obama's own words to see his true objective. When asked by Charlie Gibson if he knew that raising the capital gains tax resulted in a decrease in revenue, Mr. Obama responded "Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness." When questioned by Joe the Plumber regarding a tax increase, Mr. Obama responded "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
It is clear, that at the very least, the millionaire's tax is little more than an election year ploy devised to motivate a less than enthusiastic liberal base going into this year's election; and a good one at that! I can think of no one who will view those earning more than $1,000,000 per year as down-trodden victims under attack. So what if the very rich are forced to cough up a few extra points? I mean this sincerely and seriously, the public at large will not sympathize.
History tells us that raising taxes on the rich will not increase revenues. It could hurt business, may hurt hiring and it will not pay for any of the so called proposed cuts but (and that's a highlighted but) defending against it could cost Republicans dearly at the polls. The millionaire's tax will raise only about $46 billion of the $3 trillion needed to pay for the targeted spending cuts or about 1.5% of the cuts desired. As a source of revenue, the millionaire's tax is worth nothing to Obama the deficit cutter. As a source of raising the public's anger in a time of high unemployment, forcing Republicans to defend these millionaires could prove invaluable to Obama the Presidential candidate. A Republican blockage of the millionaire's tax would enable Mr. Obama to escape blame for the rising deficit and high unemployment during the 2012 election.
But what if Republicans did not oppose this tax? The revenue from the tax does nothing to help Democrats bring down the deficit or unemployment. With no opposition to the tax, Democrats will have little to motivate their base and have nothing more than their record to run on. Without a very strong voter turnout, Democrats stand an excellent chance of losing not only the Presidency but the Senate as well.
Is it time for Republicans to stand firmly for their principles or sacrifice for the greater good? If Republicans feel that strongly about the millionaire's tax, they can repeal it after taking back the Senate and White House in 2012. In order to save the country from this administration's bankrupting social agenda, the millionaires should just suck it up for a year and pay the tax. It is after all, small price to pay for tossing this administration out of power.