President Barack Obama has proposed raising taxes on the rich to put America's fiscal house in order, but critics say federal spending is so massive that the wealthy don't have enough money to cover the nation's unprecedented debt.
In an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) said President Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy would only generate enough revenue to fund the federal government for eight days.
"The president’s plan to increase taxes on the upper two percent covers the spending by this federal government not for eight years, not for eight months, not for eight weeks but for eight days. Eight days only," said Mr. Price. "It’s not a real solution. So, again, I’m puzzled by an administration that seems to be more interested in raising tax rates than in gaining economic vitality."
The problem is that the rich don't have enough money to put so much as a dent in America's $16 trillion national debt. "If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion," writes John Stossel. "That’s only a third of this year’s deficit. Our national debt would continue to explode."
Still, Mr. Obama's supporters persist in proposing tax hikes on the wealthy. On Sunday, billionaire Warren Buffett proposed a minimum tax for America's top earners. "We need Congress, right now, to enact a minimum tax on high incomes. I would suggest 30 percent of taxable income between $1 million and $10 million, and 35 percent on amounts above that."
There's just one problem with such an approach, says author Mark Steyn:
If you took every single penny that Warren Buffett has, it'd pay for 4-1/2 days of the US government. This tax-the-rich won't work. The problem here is the government is way bigger than even the capacity of the rich to sustain it. The Buffett Rule would raise $3.2 billion a year, and take 514 years just to pay off Obama's 2011 budget deficit.
Indeed, even Mr. Buffett seems to concede that he and the president's "soak the rich" proposals are more an act of political theater designed to generate an emotional response than serious solutions: Mr. Buffett told Matt Lauer he believes his proposal would boost the "morale of the middle class."