The Buffett Exception: The Equality of Inequality?

Yesterday President Obama introduced the “Buffett Rule.” He defined it by stating that “Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires.” I think there is little disagreement with this proposition. But what if this is already the case? An USA Today article, citing the Congressional Budget Office, stated that, “The 10% of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70% of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” The article fairly stated that some millionaires have found ways to pay no federal income tax, but that these constituted “less than 1% of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.”

So is the President creating a general rule based on a small exception? If the issue is an exception, surely it would be more reasonable from his perspective to cut out the exceptions rather than change a working general rule? Do you add more taxes onto the 99% of a tax class in order to make 1% pay more? Again, if a small percentage is the issue, then lets address that. And this is exactly what Rep. Paul Ryan proposed in his newest video embedded below.

However, I am not sure this is the issue for the President. Maybe for the President, he believes that the upper percentage of income earners as a whole are not paying enough in taxes. If this is the real issue, then his definition of the “Buffett Rule” seems inaccurate. And if his version of fairness is something something other than the Buffett rule as he describes it, then it begs the question, “Mr. President, if the top 10% of households already pay more than 70% of federal income taxes, what is your idea of fair?”

Sources:

USA Today Money – Fact Check: The wealthy already pay more taxes

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/story/2011-09-20/buffett-tax-millionaires/50480226/1

Path to Prosperity (Episode 3): 3 Steps to Pro-Growth Tax Reform — VISUALIZED

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Aewj_IndN4&feature=player_embedded

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