There’s a brand new feature over at Barack Obama’s campaign website, BarackObama.com, and this morning, Stephanie Cutter, his Deputy Campaign Manager, told the world all about it in an email:
We've got a new interactive tool that shows how Mitt Romney and some other millionaires play by their own set of rules -- the same rules they're trying to make sure you and I don't ever get to change.
Compare your tax rate to Mitt Romney's -- and see how the Buffett Rule makes him pay his fair share.
I can't think of a better way to illustrate the choice this country is facing in November.
The Obama campaign has built its entire infrastructure around the Buffett Rule, which would cover approximately 11 hours of government spending in terms of tax receipts. They’re not doing it because those 11 hours of spending are crucial. They’re doing it because Mitt Romney is wealthy, and the Obama campaign wants to play the class warfare card.
How else to explain this new website tool? Why is Mitt Romney’s personal income suddenly the standard in terms of tax rates? President Obama’s personal income could be held to the same standard – he pays a federal tax rate of around 20 percent, likely less than that of his secretary. But Obama wants to pretend that Mitt Romney is standing in the way of tax raises simply to protect his own income – which, Obama implies, constitutes ill-gotten gains. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) doesn’t imply it – he says it, comparing Romney to international despots who use offshore bank accounts. The Occupy Wall Street movement was built specifically for the nomination of Romney; now we see the Occupy strategy in full view.
Beyond the obvious seething hatred for the wealthy evidenced by Obama’s new “Romneytax” tool, there’s another question: is Obama misusing the White House website for campaigning? Even as this email was sent, the WhiteHouse.gov website was championing a tool called “What’s Your Buffett Number?,” where you could type in your wages and salary and other income, and then see how many millionaires (ALERT: Romney’s a millionaire!) paid a lower tax rate than you did.
The Buffett Rule is a campaign tool, pure and simple. While the White House is likely in compliance with campaign finance laws by using its government website to pursue class warfare, it’s certainly borderline. What isn’t borderline is how much the Obama administration – and the Obama campaign – hate the rich, and in particular, Mitt Romney.