More “Muppet” than “Buffet” - Obama goes for populist message
President Obama’s “Buffet Rule” Tax push on millionaires represents most of what his term in office has come down to; lots of rhetoric filled with theatrics and little or no long term beneficial substance for the nation. President Obama himself said Wednesday, “Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit, Well, I agree.”
The so-called Buffett Rule, which aims to set a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for Americans who earn more than $1 million annually. The president theatrically surrounded himself with some wealthy campaign contributors to make another pitch for a higher tax rate on the country's biggest earners, even at one stage suggesting President Reagan would have supported it.
I use the term Muppet, instead of Buffet, as the current administrations cynicism, theatrics and contempt at which they treat the public is bordering on a scene from the “Muppet Show.” The White House honestly believes ordinary Americans, and others, are not intelligent enough to see this latest stunt as nothing more then politicking at its worst.
If the President respectfully was serious about addressing the nations’ financial woes and put as much effort into getting the United States Democratic Controlled Senate to pass a budget, that would do more good for the nation and the economy, then the $49 billion the Buffet rule would bring in over ten years. The U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in almost 1080 days surely as president and leader of the nation, this serious matter deserves more than a fleeting moment of his time and attention.
President Obama’s claim that the Buffett Rule “is something that will get us moving in the right direction toward fairness” would be more convincing if his actions where more reflective of such rhetoric too. Three years into his presidency, President Obama has not introduced a plan for comprehensive tax reform, arguably the most important aspect for repairing America’s finances and boosting long-term economic growth. The fact is, this is a president who appointed the Simpson-Bowles commission only to then completely ignore its findings and is devoid of purposeful ideas. He has failed to lead on tax reform and will no doubt return to more rhetoric about Congress failing to act, when it is voted down in Congress next week.
Where the president and Washington have got it wrong is their disregard for the ordinary person. Yes inequality is a huge and growing problem across America, and in other countries however; it is not a “Fair-Share” as President Obama argues that people want pushed. People want a “Fair-Society” where there are opportunities for personal and business growth, success and financial reward.
It should be every leader’s aspiration to create the circumstances to get as many people into the workplace as possible, not become dependent on the state for handouts. How can it be a “Fair-Share” when you are penalised for success if you attain it. If government steps back and respects individual liberty, successful people will reinvest in the economy and it will involve more people in the work environment ultimately delivering a better, more prosperous and “Fair-Society.”
Make no mistake about President Obama’s attempt to frame this as an issue of social equality; it has nothing to do with equality, or any tangible benefit except for the president, as the “Buffett Rule” polls well.
How much time has the president spent trying to sell this $49 billion Buffet Rule to the American people compared to solving the spending and deficit issues in Washington? American’s and others looking on, are not stupid Mr. President. It is a pity that a presidency which promised so much at the outset has become so arrogant in their belief that they can treat their public likes a bunch of Muppet’s.
The fact is yesterday’s speech and this populist token exercise has nothing to do with growing the American economy or tackling the more serious issues facing the nation. It does not serve the American people, it is fundamentally and solely electioneering at its worst.
Unfortunately, this presidency has lacked any real ambition or effort at meaningful tax reform. If the president and his administration believe the “Muppet Rule” will fool the ordinary American in exchange for their vote well, I believe ordinary American people are a lot smarter for themselves then the Obama administration believe them to be. Sadly, sound bites have well and truly replaced substance in modern American public service and politics while the people fail to be served.