The U.S. Senate on Monday night rejected a motion to move forward with a surtax on millionaires known as the Buffett Rule that President Obama has been relentlessly promoting over the past several weeks. On a largely party line vote, the Senate voted 51 to 45 to proceed with the tax, falling short of the 60 votes that were required.
The failure of the proposal was by design. Obama knew the Buffett Rule, sponsored in the Senate by Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., never had a serious chance of passage, but he needs it as the centerpiece of the class warfare campaign he plans to lodge against Republicans in this election. By attacking Republicans for opposing the tax, he hopes to distract attention from his failure to do anything about the nation's growing debt burden.