I know that position might disqualify him from the Republican primaries these days but what Ronald Reagan was calling for then is the same thing that we're calling for now: a return to basic fairness and responsibility, everybody doing their part.
And if it'll help convince folks in Congress to make the right choice, we could call it the Reagan rule instead of the Buffett rule."
The only problem is that, like so many other historical references the President has made, he completely distorts the facts and truth of the matter, as Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner explains:
Yes, it’s true that on June 28, 1985, Reagan gave a speech to Bloom High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois about problems with the tax code in which he told an anecdote about an executive who was paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. But if you read the whole speech, it’s clear that Reagan was telling the story as part of his pitch for tax reform.
“Lower, flatter tax rates will give Americans more confidence in the future,” Reagan said that day. “It'll mean if you work overtime or get a raise or a promotion or if you have a small business and are able to turn a profit, more of that extra income will end up where it belongs -- in your wallets, not in Uncle Sam's pockets.”
So there are several key differences with Obama. To start, Reagan was talking about simplifying the tax code, whereas Obama’s Buffett Rule would add another layer of complexity. Reagan was arguing for allowing people to keep more of their own money and reduce the burden of government. By contrast, Obama is arguing for instituting the Buffett Rule so that more money is available to pay for government programs.
Reagan’s push for tax reform helped lead to landmark reform legislation the following year that broadened the tax base, consolidated the nation’s 14 brackets into just two and lowered the top marginal income tax rate from 50 percent to 28 percent. This is actually pretty close to the framework that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., outlined in the House GOP budget and couldn’t be more far off from Obama’s Buffett Rule gimmick.
But the facts didn't stop local Democrats from jumping on the bandwagon. Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz and Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak defended the President's call to tax the rich more.
The county treasurer stated even the late President Reagan believed the rich should pay their "fair share" of taxes.
Lucas County commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak stated the Buffett Rule ensures billionaires pay their fair share alongside the middle class. The comments come ahead of a U.S. Senate vote Monday on the president's proposal and was part of an organized statewide effort by the Obama re-election campaign.
As a treasurer, certainly Kapszukiewicz should understand the difference between income tax and capital gains taxes. Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than payroll income - they are not comparable.
Anyone who gets a paycheck pays payroll taxes. In Ohio, a person earning $1 million per year from a paycheck would actually pay 31.4% in federal income tax while that same person earning $15/hour would pay only 5% in federal income tax.
What I didn't see in any of the news reports on the statements from the President and the parroting by our local Democrats is a question about the people who don't pay any federal taxes at all.
As this chart shows, "...“The percentage of people who do not pay federal income taxes, and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009.”
That means 151.7 million Americans paid nothing in 2009. By comparison, 34.8 million tax filers paid no taxes in 1984."
So I sent an email to both Kapszukiewicz and Skeldon-Wozniak to ask them two simple questions:
Since nearly half of the nation does not pay anything at all in income tax, what is the 'fair share' of that group?
Who is advising these people?!?