Both political parties find themselves engaged in a fierce battle over taxes. Republicans successfully maneuvered their way to extending the Bush tax cuts nearly two years ago. Now President Barack Obama wants to set a minimum tax rate on the richest of Americans, calling it the ‘Buffett Rule.’ Karl Rove’s American Crossroads SuperPAC is now setting its sights on the president’s proposal, asking Facebook users to sign a petition that reads:
President Obama and Warren Buffett are deeply troubled by how low their taxes are. Nothing is stopping them from paying more in taxes voluntarily. Sign the petition to encourage Obama and Buffett to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to the “Buffett Rule”.
Besides the poorly constructed wording of the petition, it tries to highlight a supposed hypocrisy in the advocacy by the two men. It uses low-effort thinking that runs rampant in conservative ideology and allows Republican strategists to distort facts for their gain.
The United States treasury does allow people to “donate” money. That misses the point, however, of the Buffett Rule that conservatives are fighting against. The rule would merely place a floor for the richest 450,000 Americans. These are people who make their money through investing and pay capital gains taxes instead of income taxes like working class Americans.
That’s why President Obama proposed the Buffett Rule, asking millionaires and billionaires to do their fair share. But if you’re one of the 98 percent of American families who make under $250,000 a year, your taxes won’t go up.
Are you even close to making $250,000 a year? Probably not. The median household income in the United States hovers around $50,000. A poll conducted by CBS News/New York Times in January found about 52 percent of people believe investments should be taxed at the same rate as earned income. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid less than 14 percent on his $21.7 million that he made in 2010. At the current moment, the rich are paying the lowest rate since 1980. Under the Buffett Rule, Romney’s tax rate would have been 30 percent.
This will be just the first glimpse in the super PACs multi-million dollar campaign to unseat the president.
Photo is a screenshot of American Crossroads petition.