Morning Examiner: Buffett rule math

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

President Obama is going to deliver a speech in Boca Raton, Florida today about what The New York Times describes as, “a tax proposal that has become a centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s campaign for re-election.” They are, of course, referring to The Buffett Rule.

But going into the speech, the White House wants to make sure everybody knows that the Buffett Rule has nothing to do with reducing the debt. According to Politico, White House National Economic Council Deputy Director Jason Furman held a conference call yesterday where he explained to reporters that Obama’s Buffett rule, “was never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control.” This is a wise admission by the White House. A Joint Committee on Taxation report released last month showed that the Buffett Rule would only raise $47 billion over 11 years. That is .7 percent of the $6.4 trillion in debt Obama’s budget would create over the same time frame.

So if the Buffett Rule is not about lowering the debt, what is it about? “Fairness.” During a different Monday conference call with reporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said, “The Buffett rule will help make our system reflect our values as all Americans play by the same rules, do their fair share and get a shot at success.”

Problem is, the same math the proves the Buffett Rule fails to reduce the debt also shows it is even worse at redistributing wealth. Just think about it. The United States economy will allocate about $15.3 trillion worth of goods and services in 2012. The Buffett Rule would redistribute about $4.3 billion of that $15.3 trillion. That is .03 percent.

Vice President Joe Biden inaugurated his new twitter account yesterday by tweeting out, “I’m for the Buffett Rule because it just makes sense. Like the President says—it’s not class warfare. It’s math.”

The White House has already admitted that the math shows the Buffett Rule is a deficit dud. A quick look at the math of our nation’s gross domestic product shows it is a “fairness” failure as well. So if its not about the deficit, and its not about fairness, class warfare is the only explanation left.

Campaign 2012
General Election: A new Washington Post poll of 1,103 American adults finds Obama beating Romney 51-43 in a head-to-head match-up.

GOP Primary: According to Pew, 74 percent of Republicans say Romney is “definitely” the nominees.

Romney: Mitt Romney pulled all of his attack ads from Pennsylvania while Santorum tends to his daughter in the hospital.

Gingrich: Newt Gingrich tells National Review he is now targeting the delegate-rich state of Delaware.

Obama: Gay rights groups and their allies are pushing to make gay marriage a part of the official Democratic Party platform at the national convention in Charlotte this summer. The campaign is forcing Obama to take a hard stance on an issue that he would rather say he is “evolving” on.

Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new study finds: A new study by a Medicare and Social Security trustee finds that Obamacare will add $340 billion to the debt over the next decade.

The Wall Street Journal, Spanish Yields Soar Amid Fears: Spanish and Italian borrowing costs climbed Tuesday, adding to last week’s sharp rises and pushing Spanish 10-year yields to their highest levels since early December, as economic fears continued to weigh on peripheral bond markets.

Righty Playbook
At National Review John Fund puts James O’Keefe’s latest video, showing a assistant being offered Attorney General Eric Holder’s ballot, in context.

AEI‘s Stephen Hayes explains why Obama deserves zero credit for the current oil and gas boom.

The Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney explores the Obama administration’s dependence on industrial policy, corporatism, and cronyism

Lefty Playbook
Talking Points Memo posts a chart showing that Obama’s jobs recovery is really an oil jobs recovery.

Harold Pollack hates the fact that Paul Ryan is selling his Medicaid reforms as a successor to welfare reform.

The Monkey Cage highlights a new study showing that “evangelicalism is the most potent worldview force in conservatizing Latino political attitudes,” not Catholicism.

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