Even WaPo's Dana Milbank Thinks Obama's 'Buffett Rule' is 'Gimmicky'

President Obama is once again shamelessly touring the country promoting class warfare with his pathetic "Buffett Rule" to raise taxes on the most successful Americans.

Sadly for the Commander-in-Chief, even the perilously liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank thinks this is a gimmick to woo voters:

President Obama admits it: His proposed “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires is a gimmick.

“There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,’ ” Obama declared Wednesday. “Well, I agree.”

Actually, the gimmick was apparent even without the president’s acknowledgment.

Yes, and it's been apparent to intelligent Americans since it was first broached last year. Sadly, most liberal media members still think it makes sense.

Apparently not Milbank:

Three years into his presidency, Obama has not introduced a plan for comprehensive tax reform — arguably the most important vehicle for fixing the nation’s finances and boosting long-term economic growth. His opponents haven’t done much better, but that doesn’t excuse the president’s failures: appointing the Simpson-Bowles commission and then disregarding its findings, offering a plan for business tax reform only, and issuing a series of platitudes. The Buffett Rule, rather than overhauling the tax code, would simply add another layer.

I'd argue that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has twice proposed budgets with far more tax overhaul than anything Obama and his Party have done since January 2009, although Milbank certainly wouldn't agree with that. The liberal media are collectively on a warpath against Ryan, and I doubt the Post columnist would care to get in their way.

But he did mock the President's plan a bit:

Obama’s prioritization is no mystery: The populist Buffett Rule polls well. This explains its inclusion in countless presidential speeches and statements. White House reporters, tiring of the theme, have proposed a Jimmy Buffett Rule (three-drink minimum) and a Buffet Rule (Newt Gingrich would be an obvious candidate).

Chuckle, chuckle.

Unfortunately, despite showing skepticism about the President's plan, Milbank like so many of his dishonest colleagues provided some misinformation of his own writing, "A search of the White House Web site yields 17,400 mentions of the Buffett Rule — a proposal that would bring in $47 billion over 10 years, much of that from 22,000 wealthy households."

The $47 billion over ten years is correct, but far less than 22,000 households would be impacted. As Investment News correctly reported Tuesday (with emphasis):

President Barack Obama is promoting a “Buffett rule” setting a minimum tax rate for top earners to ensure they pay a higher percentage of their income than middle- class families. For the most part, they already do.

The average tax rate, including payroll taxes, for the middle 20 percent of U.S. families will be 15.9 percent in 2015, according to an estimate by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington. Of the 217,000 households that would be affected by the Buffett rule, only 4,000 will have incomes exceeding $1 million and tax rates below 15 percent, under slightly different measures of income and taxes by the center.

So maybe this "rule" will impact only 4,000 households. Or maybe even less. As Milbank himself reported last September:

At the moment, the Ink-Stained Inc. case study, should the Harvard Business School wish to study it, is a reminder to be skeptical of the “job creator” argument in the tax debate. “It’s a good example of the murkiness of what we mean by small business and the connection to jobs,” William Gale, co-director of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center, told me. “There’s sort of this notion of small-business innovation and job creation that just doesn’t necessarily hold.”

That’s even more so with Obama’s “Buffett Rule,” under which millionaires would have to pay a higher tax rate than a typical middle-class worker. As a practical matter, most already do. Gale said the rule would raise the taxes on only a few thousand people, perhaps as few as 1,000.

In a nation of more than 300 million, that’s not going to make a dent in job creation.

So, Milbank wrote roughly seven months ago the Buffett "rule would raise the taxes on only a few thousand people, perhaps as few as 1,000."

Now he's saying 22,000. What a difference an election makes.

And he accuses the President of being gimmicky.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.