Breaking news: Democratic Senators are pushing for the implementation of the “Buffet Rule,” which makes it clear that individuals forming queues for buffets should practice better line etiquette and at all times keep their faces behind the protection of the sneeze guard. In other words, no more ducking your head under for better view and a whiff of baked beans.
Oh. It’s the “Buffett Rule,” and it has nothing to do with buffets. It’s about taxes or something. Boring!
Apparently, Democratic Senators, themselves part of the 1%, have taken a shine to the populism of forcing fatcats to pay their fare share. Thus, they are introducing legislation this week that will “[codify] President Obama’s principle that the superrich should pay at least the tax rate of middle-class workers.”
The proposed changes are largely toothless, and are likely only to punish dumb millionaires:
The bill, following the rough contours laid out by President Obama last week, creates what would be an alternative minimum tax for the superrich. Households with adjusted annual gross incomes over $1 million would do their taxes as they do now, with all the deductions, credits and loopholes intact. They would also calculate what 30 percent of their adjusted gross incomes amounts to. They would then pay whichever amount is larger.
By approaching the issue of “tax equity” that way, Congress would not have to tackle the difficult political task of closing each loophole, nor could they be accused of inadvertently hitting other taxpayers, since only those with annual incomes over $1 million would be required to calculate the flat, 30 percent rate.
It’s a win-win for Congress: they don’t have to do any populist heavy-lifting, nor do they have to figure out ways to resolve the gross inequities endemic to the tax code! Plus, they’re not even really that concerned about this right now, anyway, since the deadline for reform is almost a year away.
Since this proposed legislation comes on the heels of Obama’s state of the union, I get the sense that this move was kind of like when your boss walks by your office and you hurriedly throw down your phone and shuffle some papers around. “I’ll get right on those TPS reports, Mr. Obama! Dammit! That’s the closest I’ve ever been to finishing that stage of Angry Birds!“