Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post asked a rhetorical question in his column last Thursday:
Three years later, we are back to smoke and mirrors. This time it’s not health care but the Buffett Rule, which would impose a minimum 30 percent effective tax rate on millionaires. Here is how Obama introduced it last September:
“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a [higher] tax rate than Warren Buffett. . . . And that basic principle of fairness, if applied to our tax code, could raise enough money” to “stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade. . . . This is not politics; this is math.”
Okay. Let’s do the math. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this new tax would yield between $4 billion and $5 billion a year. If we collect the Buffett tax for the next 250 years — a span longer than the life of this republic — it would not cover the Obama deficit for 2011 alone.
As an approach to our mountain of debt, the Buffett Rule is a farce. And yet Obama repeated the ridiculous claim again this week. “It will help us close our deficit.” Does he really think we’re that stupid?
Yes, Mr Krauthammer, he does. The most important piece of evidence in his favor is that we were stupid enough to have elected him, freely elected him, to be our 44th President in November of 2008. We bought a smile and we bought erudition and we bought confidence, valuing it over experience, we bought hope over knowledge, and we bought change, without asking whether it was change for the better. As much as the Democrats derided the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), she was the only candidate among the Democrats and Republicans who had ever actually run anything before. There were literally people saying that, why of course Senator Obama had more experience than Governor Palin, because he represented a district with more people in it than the population of Alaska, as though representing a district was the same thing as governing it, same thing as managing it.
Of course, the Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), had never run anything (other than his mouth) before, either, but at least he was older, wiser (well, maybe), and more greatly tempered by military service, by 5½ years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, and by life in general than Barack Obama.
And yet, a clear majority of the American voters cast their ballots for Senator Obama. So, does he really think we’re that stupid? Yes, of course he does, and we have yet to prove that we aren’t.