President Barack Obama on Monday will call for a higher minimum tax rate on millionaires to ensure they pay the same rate on their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, a White House official said. The plan comes as Obama engages in a months-long, countrywide trek to back his $447 billion jobs bill to reduce 9.1 percent unemployment and restore trust in his economic leadership.
The tax raise is unlikely to pass Congress as Republicans have already rejected Obama’s plans to raise taxes and limit deductions for the highest earners, and would see the rule as a political gambit. Republicans say adding to the tax burden will hit small business owners and therefore harm job creation.
An administration official said on condition of anonymity that Obama would call his millionaires plan the “Buffett Rule,” a reference to an objection by billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-income workers.
Some millionaires enjoy the lower rate because investment gains — such as capital gains, dividends and “carried interest” compensation paid to investment managers and hedge fund partners — are taxed at a lower rate than wages. They also only pay the Social Security payroll tax on the first $106,800 of their income, the cut-off point for the tax.
As much as I love Warren Buffet, I still believe that it is better to use the tax breaks for the rich to invest in American Small Businesses and Start-Ups than to be taxed more and forced to support another government jobs bill that costs billions and will undoubtedly bankrupt the country. Based on the track record so far it looks like a bad investment. I propose taking the “Moneyball” approach. Let’s use the statistical data plan rather than throwing money and big government salaries at the problem! Where is Billy Beane when you need him?
There is a lot they can learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. Especially in the following areas:
1) Use limited resources wisely. The Democratic Party has to be shrewder in its use of media, and has to look for ways to “get more bang for the buck.” It’s not enough to complain about a biased media, even though those complaints are well-grounded. The Democrats must be sneaky, imaginative, and thrifty.
2) Cultivate young talent and hold onto it. The Oakland A’s compete against better-funded teams because the franchise locks in young talent while they can. Similarly, the Democratic Party and the left generally need to mentor leftist activists while they’re young, and school them in the practicalities of mainstream politics. They need an army of smart young liberals who bring passion to the process. John McCain, a Republican, understood this better than either of the Democrats running in 2000 (not to mention the opponents in his own party), and as a result McCain nearly upset a much better funded opponent.
3) Don’t be afraid to take a risk and go for it. The A’s and Billy Beane impressed baseball fans by taking a chance on winning instead of packing it in this season. The Democratic Party is in desperate need of that go-for-broke attitude. The Florida mess proved that beyond doubt. The Republicans are successful in part because they want to win and will stop at very little to do so; they choose to worry about what the majority thinks after they’re firmly in power.
It’s time for those in the “left-center” coalition to think of new ways to sell liberal ideas.
What are your thoughts? I would love to know.