Obama's Bad Math

by Gerri Willis

President Obama speaks about the Buffett Rule in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Tax Day Eve. Ugh. I don't know about you but the whole season gives me the willies.

I use an accountant so I don't go through every detail myself, but I do cringe waiting for the death sentence. What do we owe and who to?

No matter how much I finesse my withholding, it always seems like I am writing a check this time of year.

I think most Americans, at least the half of us paying federal income tax, feel the same way, which is why I was amazed when the President started talking about tax hikes - during tax season.

His proposal - called the Buffet Rule - would require millionaires to pay a minimum in federal income taxes of 30%.

A Senate vote on the Buffett Rule is expected to fail.

The President has been campaigning on the Buffett tax for a couple of weeks now.

And while the White House's initial reasoning for such a tax was it would help retire our nation's $16 trillion debt. Well they've backed off that a little bit because it's not really true.

Buffett tax revenues would be a drop in the bucket raising just $47 billion over a decade, while Mr. Obama's budget adds nearly six and a half trillion to the debt over the decade.

According to some, the tax would cover just 17 days of increased deficit under the Obama tax plan. So what's the point again?

When his advisor David Axelrod spoke on the tax on Fox News Sunday, you could hear the waver in his voice as he tried to explain the wisdom of suggesting tax hikes during tax season:

“But nobody can argue -- nobody can argue, Chris -- nobody can argue that it makes sense for people who are making $1 million a year or more to pay less than the average middle class worker in this country. So, it both helps us stabilize the deficit and ensures amount of fairness in our tax system.”

Pardon me, Mr. Axelrod, but the reality is this: The wealthy already pay most of the income taxes collected in this country.

The top ten percent pay over half of all federal taxes - the top one percent over a quarter!

And according to the Tax Foundation, millionaires paid an average tax rate of 25 percent - more than three times the average tax rate for a family earning between 50 and 75 thousand dollars.

Let's recognize the Buffett tax for what it is: an election year campaign slogan aimed at firing up the left and winning over the middle class.

Fortunately, most folks can see through this kind of thing.

At least the viewers of this program are smart enough to see through it.

Instead of one-off ideas adding more burden to an already overwhelming tax code, why don't we simplify the tax code and make it fairer for everybody.

Maybe a first principle should be that everybody has to pay something.