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W.H. Contradicts Obama Campaign's Claim that Buffett Rule Is 'a Key Step to Reduce the Deficit'

1:09 PM, Apr 10, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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President Obama is traveling to Florida today to tout the so-called Buffett Rule, as well as to raise money from people who would have to pay more taxes under that same rule. The president's proposal "asks everyone to pay their fair share" of taxes, according to the White House. In other words: It's an increase on taxes for the rich.

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"The Buffett Rule is [sic] simple principle that everyone should pay their fair share in taxes," the White House explains. "No household making more than a $1 million should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay. For the 98 percent of American families who make less than $250,000, taxes should not go up."

But the money that would be brought in by the government through this sort of tax increase would hardly reduce the growing federal debt. The debt is too large, and the revenue would be too small. Even Obama's spokesman admitted that fact to reporters today on the plane ride down to Florida.

"[N]o one ever suggested that implementing the Buffett Rule would contribute in large measure to reducing the deficit," said press secretary Jay Carney. 

However, Obama's own campaign team is touting the Buffett Rule as a way to pay down ... the federal deficit. 

"The Buffett Rule would reduce the deficit while helping to pay for investments in education, clean energy, jobs, and other programs that will help our economy grow," Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina claims on BarackObama.com.

And in another place on Obama's campaign website, this assertion is made: "The Buffett Rule would require everyone to pay their fair share—a key step to reduce the deficit and invest in what we need to grow and strengthen the economy. Mitt Romney's alternative is to give millionaires and billionaires trillions of dollars in tax breaks paid for by either increasing the deficit or by cutting programs critical to the middle class and economic growth."

So, if the Buffett Rule would have a negligible impact on the federal deficit, as Carney said today on Air Force One, why is Obama's own campaign making claims to the contrary? Why is the Buffett Rule being portrayed as "a key step to reduce the deficit"?

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