Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Obama jokes, "We can call it the Reagan rule instead of the Buffet rule if you want..."
This morning President Barack Obama gathered a group of millionaires and their secretaries for a press conference about an upcoming vote on what's been dubbed "The Buffet Rule." He said that he had gathered these "people of success" because they shared the belief that they wanted to help the next generation. As he spoke, the people around him nodded their heads in strong affirmation. Some of the women's eyes filled with tears as he went on to discuss economic equality and the American dream.
President Obama explained that The Buffet Rule would ask those who have continuous income of over 1 million dollars per year to pay a tax rate of 30%, which is the same rate that most of the middle class pays, while those who make less than $250,000 would face no tax increases at all. He pointed out that right now, the riches among us pay less than the rich did in the 1920's just prior to the depression. He didn't point out that he was asking them to pay less than most other developed nations, than we charged in the 1950's or even than we asked in the 1990's.
"This is not an issue of redistributing wealth," the president stressed as he went on to explain that this was about "making investments we need to succeed." In addition to pointing out that many of these investments are "essential to private sector business" he informed us that 2/3 of millionaires and 1/2 of republicans support this idea. Laughing, he pointed out that where our weak link lies, "We just need Republican politicians to get on board."
In contrast to the republican budget, which would offer nearly 4.6 trillion in tax breaks working out to $150,000 dollars to each millionaire in the country, The Buffet Rule simply asks those who are the most fortunate to pay the same amount as, say, Joe the Plumber, or Warren Buffet's secretary, or anybody else in the middle class. No matter how many times the right-wing tries to frame this as some form of class warfare, or tries to suggest this is all some sick aspect of the President's supposed tax fetish, the truth does is fact found in his words, "We can't afford to spend more money on tax cuts."
This is a truth that can be found in the fact that this idea actually overshadows party line politics. As the president pointed out today, the original pioneer of what has become The Buffet Rule, was republican political God and tea party guru Ronald Regan, who heard about Warren Buffet paying less in taxes than his secretary and said, "That's crazy!"
As much as I dislike the GOP's beloved Regan, and the era of red state republicanism he ushered in, I have to agree with Barack Obama once again, "If it'll help folks in congress we can call it The Reagan Rule instead of The Buffet Rule." I don't think that the president or I cares what the bill is called so long as it's passed. Not because we have a super secret liberal agenda to socialize and destroy America, but because we have an ultra awesome out in the open agenda to make America the place where a strong middle class drives a strong nation.
The president asked us to please contact our legislators, tweet them, write them, call them. I'm asking the same. Click here to get started. This is important and it only takes a minute folks, let's show them that the Tea Party may be the squeaky wheel, but we rational progressives are the quiet and reliable three that keep turning without shrilling. Just because we are not as loud, and we amble on reliably, doesn't mean we are not here, or that we are not a steady force. Right now the republican politicians in D.C. are listening to that squeaking wheel, and it's time we show them the importance of our silent but righteous majority.