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The Buffett Ruse

The Buffett Ruse

By Reince Priebus - April 11, 2012

The Buffett Rule won’t balance the budget. It won’t prevent a debt crisis. It won’t help the economy. It won’t get you a job.

But contrary to Obama’s rhetoric, it was never meant to.

For Barack Obama, the Buffett Tax (it’s a tax, plain and simple) has one goal: to divide and distract America. He wants to divide the electorate with class warfare to distract us from his failed policies. This is how desperate he is to win reelection. This is how little he thinks of the American voter.

The man who campaigned as a selfless post-partisan leader is governing like a selfish hyper-partisan cynic.

First, the facts. As the Wall Street Journal explained last month, “This year, the Buffett rule would increase federal revenues by all of $1.1 billion. That's less than one-tenth of one percent of the $1.2 trillion budget deficit Mr. Obama is scheduled to run this year.”

This stark reality led even the Los Angeles Times editorial board to declare, “The proposed Buffett rule is more a political statement than a deficit-reduction tool, given how little money it may raise.”

Based on Obama’s budget, the federal government will spend $45.4 trillion between 2013 and 2022. $9.6 trillion will be borrowed money. The Buffett Tax would raise $46.7 billion.

President Obama has said the Buffett Tax would help “stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade,” adding, “This is not politics; this is math.” But that’s just another deception. The math doesn’t add up. This is the most cynical political tool imaginable.

Obama has racked up a record amount of debt, run deficits in excess of one trillion dollars, caused an embarrassing credit downgrade, and put America on a path toward a debt crisis. Yet, after wrecking our country’s finances, he’s now running not on solutions, but on a cheap political trick.

President Obama must really underestimate voters’ intelligence.

The Buffett Tax is a gimmick, but it does serve an important purpose: it is a testament to Obama’s failed leadership and how he has abandoned the spirit of his 2008 campaign. In four years, Obama has gone from "hope" to hypocrisy.

As President Obama himself said in 2008, “If you don't have a record to run on, then you…make a big election about small things.” Four years ago, that was supposed to be a charge against politics-as-usual. Today, it sounds like a line straight from the Obama playbook.

The president knows he has no record to run on, so he is resorting to petty tactics—just as he did in a major speech last week when he attacked Republicans for passing a budget. He called the House Republican budget “radical” and a “Trojan Horse.”

Yes, the president who has outspent every president in history vilifies those who, unlike him and the Democrat-controlled Senate, dare to pursue fiscal responsibility. Again, Obama in 2008: “If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.”

Obama is pushing the Buffett Tax under the guise of “fairness,” but who is he to talk about what’s “fair”? This is a president who has funded his liberal agenda by mortgaging our children’s future. He has paid for his failed policies using over $4.9 trillion of borrowed money that future generations will have to pay off.

When your record is this disastrous, then you have no choice but to run on disingenuous distractions. And there’s nothing “fair” about that. 

 Priebus is the chairman of the Republican National Committee.

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