If you believe you understand the Buffett Tax Plan, please read this article:
1) The current tax rate for earned income over $388,000 is 35%, but the rich pay less than this for a couple of other reasons. Obama has said the Buffett Tax plan will raise the "EFFECTIVE" tax rate of the rich to 30%. The effective tax rate is the actual rate the rich pay taking into account the lower tax rate on interest income and deductions.
2) The current tax rate on interest income varies, but has an average of about 15%. Obama has not specifically mentioned any plans to change this tax rate, but instead has stated that what he is really after is the excessive deductions that the rich claim on their tax returns. If Obama did plan to change the interest income tax rate, he would experience opposition (both in Congress and from voters) for the negative impact this would have in investments, Federal and Municipal bonds, and pretty much any aspect of our economy that is fed by investment. Simple concept, if I stand to lose money in investments, I will invest less, and pay the higher taxes with that money instead of investing it. If Obama does plan to change this rate, he has kept it a very good secret.
3) Deductions: This is the one method Obama has been most vocal about. We all seem to agree that the rich have too many deductions that allow them to lower their effective tax rate to about an average of 20% for the top 5%.
So which deductions does Obama plan to eliminate or reduce? That is the million dollar question. If you scour the media to find which deductions Obama has specifically targeted, you will find only one public comment, and it was in regards to a concerned person worried about losing their charitable contribution deduction. Here was Obama's response:
I want to make sure you understand, for the middle income families, charitable contributions, those things will continue. But for the high-income folks, were going to cut back on that so we make sure the top 1% keeps paying the current share they're paying or more.
You have to honestly answer this question. If the rich will lose their charitable contribution deduction, will they still give to charities if they can no longer deduct it, or will they instead use that money to pay their extra taxes? You have to wonder who's pocket this extra tax money will come out of.
But surely the President has other more flagrantly abused deductions to eliminate or reduce. The problem is, every deduction that is in place, was placed there by our government on the basis of a beneficial aspect it has for our country, whether it be a deduction for investment in alternative energy sources, or money spent to increase our GNP and reduce foreign imports, or money spent to create new jobs for minoritys, etc, etc. Unfortunately, no matter what deductions the President plans to reduce or eliminate, again you have to ask the question, if the rich can no longer deduct this spent money, will they instead use it to pay taxes? And again you have to ask yourself the question, just who will be affected by the elimination of this deduction?
I for one, as a voter, would like to know what deductions the Buffett tax plan intends to eliminate, but unfortunately neither I nor the media has the security clearance required to know the specifics of this plan. But this is a smart move by the President. Most people will agree (I do) that we need to raise taxes on the rich, but if you give the method to do that, unfortunately, someone is going to lose out on the money that was previously a deduction, and they might no longer be inclined to vote to re-elect our President, so it's best not to reveal what deductions Obama plans to eliminate. If you have the security clearance to know what deductions the President plans to eliminate, please inform the readers of this article by posting your comments.