John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Buffett Rule

Posted on April 16, 2012

            Warren Buffett wants to pay more taxes and his willingness to give more to the Federal Treasury has lulled President Obama into a false sense of security that his desire to raise more taxes to pay for more spending will play well for him in the polls.


Senate Democrats feel so good about the Buffett Rule gambit, that they are moving forward on a strategy of making a vote codifying it as a centerpiece of their campaign this year.


As often happens in Washington, the Buffett rule is now become shorthand inside the beltway for something bigger and more complex.  Outside the beltway, my guess is that most voters don’t really know who Warren Buffett is, and they probably have little appreciation for the complexities of it all.


Most voters know, though, that Democrats want to raise more taxes and that Republicans are resistant to raising taxes.  Because of the Ryan budget, which has also become shorthand for something bigger and more complex, Republicans are also now the party that wants to cut spending.


The problem for Democrats is that most voters, in poll after poll, want less spending from the government.   And the same polls say that most voters don’t want to pay more in taxes.


Now the Democrats will cite polls that show that most voters want the rich to pay more.  And that is probably true.  Given the choice between paying more taxes yourself or having some rich guy who lives down the block pay more taxes, most voters will say that they want that rich guy to pay more taxes.


But the voters aren’t stupid.  They know that when the talk turns to paying more in taxes, they are the ones that get forced to fork over more cold cash.


And they also realize that they aren’t getting much in government services for their hard-earned tax dollars.


They hear about the wild parties in Las Vegas thrown by the Government Services Administration and then they hear about the Secret Service detail that spends their hard-earned money getting ready for a Presidential visit to Columbia (and then refusing to hand over cash to the country’s hookers) and they know that there is plenty of wasteful spending in the government.


The voters aren’t stupid.  They know that the President wants to raise more taxes to spend more money on bigger government.  They might not know who Warren Buffett is but they do know that the Democrats have a long history of wanting to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for more government spending on boondoggles and welfare.


The smart guys in the Obama campaign think they have it all figured out.  What they don’t know is that the voters have had them figured out for more than two years now.  And the voters understand that no matter what the Buffett Rule is or does, the goal is the same.  Raise more taxes and spend more money.