Presidential trips devoted to politics but largely paid for by taxpayers usually have at least the veneer of an official purpose, with an actual policy event cynically thrown in so that the president can say he’s doing the people’s business.
Other presidents have done the same thing, though none to quite the extent this one has. With an official event in the mix, the campaign pays some, but taxpayers pick up most of it.
But today’s trip to Florida, which will be billed largely to you and me, is so nakedly and completely political that I have to laugh – laugh all the way to the bank to withdraw funds to pay my taxes so Obama can proceed with his plans.
Obama gives Warren Buffett an award for paying less than his secretary in taxes. Photo by Keith Koffler
First of all, Obama is going to Florida. FLORIDA. Ring a bell? Hanging chads? Most important presidential swing state in the country.
Second of all, he will be attending THREE FUNDRAISERS. He’s headed to the beaches on the southeastern coast. Not Miami, he already cleaned out Miami during a previous trip. Boca, West Palm, and Hollywood.
And the official event? THE BUFFETT RULE.
The Buffett Rule, as you probably know, is the proposal to make rich people pay a minimum tax. This has nothing to do with policy. It’s the lynchpin of Obama’s campaign class warfare strategy.
The Buffett rule will do almost nothing to help the deficit – and that’s before the wealthy call up their accountants and instruct them to find new ways to hide their money.
It’s a pure effort to gin up Obama’s troops against the rich while casting Mitt Romney as one of the very wealthy who need to pay more in taxes.
The White House says it’s also about “fairness,” which their code word for class warfare.
Not to mention that those earning over $1 million pay on average about 29 percent on their federal taxes compared to 15 percent for those making between $50,000 and $75,000. The top ten percent of households pay about 70 percent federal income taxes while 50 percent of Americans pay at most zero taxes and majority of those – 30 percent of all Americans – ACTUALLY MAKE MONEY from the tax system through various credits.
The White House Monday arranged a phone call for reporters with Obama’s top economic advisers to make believe this is a serious economic proposal.
During the call White House National Economic Council Deputy Director Jason Furman pretended the Buffet Rule was a serious first step toward tax reform. As if Obama actually had a tax reform proposal. And as if the Buffett Rule would ever pass.
How deeply disingenuous. One reporter snarkily asked if the Buffett Rule should be renamed “The Romney Rule,” after its intended target.
What’s really going on here is that the highly politicized White House economic team, which has given you two percent growth and eight percent unemployment, is participating in Obama’s reelection campaign instead of making serious proposals to fix the economy.