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The White House has come up with a fun widget that will be sure to infuriate you this tax weekend.

They note on the site that "about 55,000 millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than millions of middle-income Americans. I used the calculator to find out that at least 48,700 millionaires paid a lower effective tax rate than me in 2009.

Fun with income inequality! Tell your senators to start fixing that, and pass the Buffett Rule.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 09:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 09:25:37 AM PDT

  •  This is class warfare! (14+ / 0-)

    The upper class has been waging war against the working class and middle class for decades now.  Thank goodness we're fighting back.

    Dogs are people, but corporations aren't.

    by Greasy Grant on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:02:58 AM PDT

    •  Yep and we're not above Gorilla warfare nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, Xapulin

      Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

      by JML9999 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:10:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is an Example of the "Big Lie" (0+ / 0-)

      Where was the "Buffet Rule" when the Dems actually had a chance to pass it?  You know, like in 2009-10, when the Dems controlled both the House and Senate with huge majorities and Obama was sitting in the White House?

      That's right, Democrats killed all attempts to have millionares like Mitt Romney pay more in taxes.  Schumer (Dem N.Y) fought especially hard on behalf of his big Wall Street doners.  

      Only now that the GOP controls the House do the Dems make an issue of raising taxes on millionares.  Odd that these same Dems extended the expiring tax-cuts for the super-rich Bush put in place, but now want to make us believe they are all for raising taxes on the super rich when they don't have the power to do so.

      We are being played for fools.   Buffet Rule has ZERO chance of passing, same as it did when Dems controlled the House.  And if the Dems win the House again, Schumer and other Dems will kill it, same they did all the other proposed tax increases on the super-rich last time they controlled every branch of government.

      The "Buffet Rule" has about as much chance of passing through our Congress as single payer does, no matter which party is in power.  Using it for an example of where Dems are better than GOPers is a "big lie" because our current Dems ain't any better when it comes to raising taxes on their financial supporters.  

      •  Oh Noes...Schumer? Democrat? Schumer? (0+ / 0-)

        Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

        by EdMass on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:03:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What really happened (0+ / 0-)

        Let's look back at President Obama's Campaign promise from 2008.  A partial extension of the Bush Tax Cuts is what Obama proposed during the campaign.  His proposal is on record at the Tax Policy Center. On p. 13 at the link, it says:
         

        He would restore the 36 and 39.6 percent rates imposed on the highest income taxpayers.

        It also says in the same paragraph that Obama proposed extending provisions of the cuts that favored individuals with incomes under $250,000. The paragraph headed:"Partial extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts" has the details.

        In the 2009-2010 session, it was up to Congress to dissect the Bush Tax Cuts to discontinue only the provisions favoring those with the highest incomes.  Alternatively, letting the cuts expire entirely would have contradicted the promise to those with middle and lower incomes that their taxes wouldn't be raised. The Bush Tax Cuts were scheduled to expire Dec 31, 2010 and the Congress was disinclined to address the issue before that.  As the deadline approached, the issue of unemployment benefits extension came to the forefront.  The GOP made it clear at the time that they wouldn't allow what Obama had proposed during the campaign and with their hysteria over spending they wouldn’t allow the extension of unemployment benefits either.

        The Democrats in the House held together on the early votes but the Senate was a problem because there weren’t enough votes to get past a filibuster.  In fact, there were never enough Democrats during the entire 2009-2010 session but that’s another story. Without the votes in the Senate, a compromise was sought.

        When a compromise was reached, the President issued a statement. In it, he said:

        Ever since I started running for this office I've said that we should only extend the tax cuts for the middle class. These are the Americans who’ve taken the biggest hit not only from this recession but from nearly a decade of costs that have gone up while their paychecks have not. It would be a grave injustice to let taxes increase for these Americans right now. And it would deal a serious blow to our economic recovery.
        Now, Republicans have a different view. They believe that we should also make permanent the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. I completely disagree with this. A permanent extension of these tax cuts would cost us $700 billion at a time when we need to start focusing on bringing down our deficit. And economists from all across the political spectrum agree that giving tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires does very little to actually grow our economy.
        This is where the debate has stood for the last couple of weeks . . .
        As a result, we have arrived at a framework for a bipartisan agreement. For the next two years, every American family will keep their tax cuts -- not just the Bush tax cuts, but those that have been put in place over the last couple of years that are helping parents and students and other folks manage their bills.
        The compromise also included an extension of unemployment benefits that the Republicans were blocking at the time.

        If the only way to end the tax cuts for the wealthy would have been to let the GOP punish middle and lower income people, then it was a tough choice, but the compromise was the right decision. Now we must be sure to rid the Congress of the GOP so the original campaign proposal can move forward without obstruction.

        "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

        by leftreborn on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:33:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks For Proving MY Point (0+ / 0-)

          Your explanation shows exactly why Dems are no more likely to pass tax increases on the 1% than the GOP.  

          Thus, all this finger pointing over the Buffet Rule is complete and utter bullshit.  Dems do not have the power to pass it now, and if they did have the power they still wouldn't pass it, same as they didn't let the Bush era taxcuts expire and they didn't get rid of the "carried interest" exemption that allows Mittens to pay a 15% Federal income tax rate.

           

          •  Oh, did you have a point? (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:
            TimmyB

            I thought you were just going to slit your throat and shut up.

            "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

            by leftreborn on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:52:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What a brilliant response (0+ / 0-)

              Please, take your own advice.  

              •  I apologize to you TimmyB (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TimmyB

                I don't know if I really understand you or if I'm assuming.
                I hold off on forming conclusions until I'm sure.  

                On the Saturday after Obama was elected the NY Daily News carried an article that began:

                For the rich, the party is over - as promised.  Despite speculation to the contrary, President-elect Barack Obama will act on his campaign promise and roll back the Bush administration's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, an Obama senior adviser told The Daily News.
                If it hasn't happened and the talk is now about a Plan B (Buffett) I can understand that people have lost patience, and I can understand that people think we're being played. When people feel there's no chance in the future, where do they go from there?  What next?  

                I'm not pessimistic because I have no reason to be.  There's no reason to give up because it's not over.  I use critical thought and I look at details because I want everything to be well lit so I can look at it and evaluate.  What I presented to you with validating links didn't impress you at all.  Rather than comment on the tax cut extension, I thought it was more pertinent to see how the President explained it.  Clearly the situation is not ideal.   I'm sincere when I say it was a tough choice and the right decision.  I have also referred to it as "a bad deal."  My feelings are very mixed about it but we live to fight another day.  I don't see how my explanation or anything that has happened so far predestines the future.

                "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

                by leftreborn on Sat Apr 14, 2012 at 05:21:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Apology Accepted---I Understand (0+ / 0-)

                  I will also try to provide you with some background, same as you did, so we both understand each other.

                  I believe that the 2008 election, whereby the Democrats took power in the House,  Senate, and Whitehouse, showed the American people that the Democratic Party is a bunch of frauds.  I also think the election showed that electorial politics are a large waste of time and energy for the most part.

                  When the Democrats had their hands on all the levers of power, they still bent over backwards for the 1%.

                  The GOP is right about the Buffet Rule in this one regard---Why didn't the Democrats pass it when they actually had the ability to do so?

                  And why do the Democrats bring it up now, when they don't have the ability to pass it?

                  So, yeah, I do think we are being played by the Democrats.  Are they marginally better than the best GOPer?  Of course.

                  I too am full of hope.  Hope that people see they are being played and start demanding that the Dems do what we want.  Hope that people take to the streets.  Hope that Occuly brings about real change, and not just the false hope of change that somehow still causes everything to remain the same.

                  Look, when the exact same 1% fund both the Dems and the GOpers, we are fools to believe that change we seek is going to come from the ballot box.  

                  I'll give my time and money to progressive dems.  And I'll vote for shitty dems when they are my only choice.  But I am not so blind that I will praise the Dems for touting tax policies 1) they didn't try to institute last year when they controlled Congress, and 2) know will never ever become law because they themselves will prevent the "Buffet Rule" from doing so.

                  Come on now.  Didn't you notice that when the dems controlled congress there were always a few Dems who would prevent progressive policies from becoming law.  Didn't you notice that these Dems were never punished by leadership for supposedly supporting their party?  Did you ever see Obama try to preasure them in any way?

                  Nope, it was all theater for us suckers.  The best example of this was the healthcare bill's "public option."  When the entire bill needed to be passed using reconciliation procedures, wherby the bill couldn't be fillibustered by the GOP, it only needed 51 votes to pass.  

                  However, the Dems refused to even hold a vote on the publi option.  Why exactly was that?  To my way of thinking, they didn't hold a vote because they didn't want it to pass or they didn't want us rubes to learn who among them would vote against it after telling us rubes they were for it.  

                  Well, fuck em.  They don't deserve my trust.  

                  Same thing for the so called Bush, but really Obama tax cuts for the super rich.  Dems could have used reconciliation to extend tax cuts for the middle class with 51 Senate votes.  After all, the Bush tax cuts expired because the GOP passed them using reconciliation, so they could only last 10 years.

                  Dems controlled Congress with a huge majority.  So, why did the Democrats extend the Bush tax cut for the super rich, and why did Obama sign them into law?  

                  Sorry, but "they had to" isn't an excuse.  They didn't have to.  They, like you or I, can do many different things many different ways.  Why is it that in this country, the wealthy always win, no matter which party is in charge?  

                  How many times will Lucy have to  pull the football away before Charlie Brown gets it?  I guess I'm just a little older than you, because I finally got it.    

                  •  I want to encourage you. (0+ / 0-)

                    Everything you say is correct.  It's also a baseline opinion shared by many people. I agree with all you say but there's more.  I detest the right.  To be honest, it's an unmitigated hatred. I'm to the left of the Democratic Party. When I look at the political spectrum, with me on the left, the Democrats in the middle and the Republicans on the right, I choose what's closest to me.  The two-party system doesn't accomodate more than that today.

                    Fifteen months ago I began writing about the disappearance of the left.  I was asking why people weren't in the street. What was our agenda? The Left is always a ground up movement.  Progressives don't wait to be led.  People didn't want to hear the criticism and I took the backlash.  In September, when Occupy began people came back around and said I predicted it.  Of course I did not.  I was asking because a UC Santa Cruz study said that the wealth and income overconcentration in the US was at a tipping point where political and social unrest is expected.  The riot gear of the police confirmed that it was indeed expected. What wasn't expected was tear gas, beatings, seniors knocked to the ground, a US Marine with a severe head injury, journalists prevented from conducting their profession, but it was in the history books and it had all happened before.

                    When I come to this site, I approach it somewhat like a job. (It isn't a job, I don't get paid for it.  I have a job and part of what I do involves drilling into public policy issues.)  I'm not here to express my own personal point of view which involves a nuanced acceptance of the Democratic Party, and my own dissatisfaction about the gap between my agenda and theirs.  When I'm here, I'm here to back the goal which is to get Democrats elected.  I deliberately choose not to dilute the message.

                    I behave the way I do out of strategy. I work with a group that seeks to influence public policy.  Remember the Occupy purpose?  End bought government.  Our elected officials of either party are not going to be the ones to do it.  What if we could leave the system intact but get the other actors in it to behave differently?  What if business continues to lobby, but they could be convinced that ALEC is against their own interest?  What if the CEO of a financial company could be convinced that we need higher taxes on capital gains and the upper bracket, and a more progressive tax code from top to bottom, more stimulus and job creation, because the restoration of the middle class and lower income people with money to spend is what drives the economy by creating demand.  This is traditional economic theory that was conventional wisdom before voodoo economics.  What if the CEO delivered the message to 10,000 financial advisors who each have 200 clients.  Two million people.  

                    Alinsky's Rule #12:  The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.  This means that it isn't enough to criticize and attack.  When the Republicans say that Obama and the Democrats are bad, it's logical and reasonable to ask in return, "Ok, what would you do instead?  

                    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

                    by leftreborn on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:08:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Mitt Romney did this and exclaimed, "I want to (9+ / 0-)

    know who those seven people are and what their secret is!"

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:03:32 AM PDT

  •  I put in $10,000,000 w $0 in tax paid (7+ / 0-)

    5200 other millionaires also paid taxes of less then 5%.

    Man, that's depressing.

  •  Joan, you need to ask Soros for a bigger check-- (4+ / 0-)

    obviously Kos isn't paying you enough..LOL

  •  ... (5+ / 0-)

    Only 5,700 millionaires payed a lower tax than me. Huzzah for poverty!

  •  I'm in awe (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xapulin, sethtriggs, GeoffT, SaintC, BasharH

    This can reach out to fair-minded people who've otherwise completely tuned out political talking heads.

  •  Thousands of Individual Millionaires Pay More (3+ / 0-)

    than my married-filing-jointly household does.

    I don't have a way to compare just myself to one of them with this widget.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:18:39 AM PDT

  •  I don't earn anything and 5700 millionaires still (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, sethtriggs

    pay less than I do in "taxes"?
    Being an adult sucks, HOORAY for being a dependent!

    When the operation of the machine becomes so odious that you can't take part,you've got to put your bodies upon the gears;you got to make it stop.Indicate to the people who run it that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all

    by YoungArizonaLiberal on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:18:54 AM PDT

  •  The one cogent thought in this... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, fly, happymisanthropy

    "Tell your Senators to start fixing that".

    The Buffet Rule is bs, generating 47B over 10 years.

    The Senate has been sitting on the sidelines for years.  Without Nancy to get Harry off his ass and do something, he's done nothing, despite holding the majority.

    With the chance to lead, instead we rename Post Offices...to UNANIMOUS consent!

    Where is our plan(s) on taxes, debt and spending?

    Not from Harry...sigh...

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    by EdMass on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:18:56 AM PDT

  •  I'd like to see a tax on every dollar that leaves (4+ / 0-)

    the country and sits in a dormant account offshore or overseas.  With all that, all the foreign investment and all the military spending overseas there are fewer and fewer dollars in the actual US economy, and these dollars have to move faster and faster to keep the rest of the population above the poverty line.  The Repunitives are destroying US families.  That's my line, and I'm sticking to it.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Island"s, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:20:56 AM PDT

  •  Gawd I love this widget! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mollyd, jj32, shaharazade, SaintC

    More thinking outside the box like this Obama team, please!

    As of 02/22/2012 in Washington State pharmacists can exercise their "religious freedom" by denying women access to Plan B because the judge thinks there aren't any bigots in this state.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:22:09 AM PDT

  •  130,300 pay less (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bendygirl, polecat

    then we do. We're a small self proprietorship, B to B. Right off the top we get a 2,000 self employment tax. Our tax percent also includes state,  tri county taxes, business licensing and local fees. Some years it's less but those are bad times. We pay estimated quarterlies and are still playing catch up from our dismal  years 2008-10. Not good times for small businesses, who pay more in taxes then the millionaires. In our case some of these millionaires use us as an outsource, as we save them money both tax wise and money saved as they pay no benefits.    

  •  33,400 (3+ / 0-)

    that's how many millionaires paid a lower tax rate than my husband who works 60 plus hours a week providing electricity to people all over the United States.

  •  But but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeoffT

    47% of people pay no taxes at all!!!

    •  Shush... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GeoffT

      Those 47% pay sales taxes, state taxes, etc. etc.  As has been explained here ad infinitum..

      It is not "fair" to pay anything else (federal taxes)...let's keep up please...

      Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      by EdMass on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:37:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs

    61,000 millionaires paid a lower percentage than I did

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:30:18 AM PDT

  •  Has Faux Newz... (0+ / 0-)

    done a piece on this yet? Will they?

  •  42,000 paid less than me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheOrchid

    and in terms of percentages, it really pissed me off. I struggle every day from trying to pay for health care and medications to now, trying to put my kid through college. She's gifted at critical needs languages and was evacuated from Egypt last year at the start of the revolution. She's now learning Russian, teaching herself American Sign Language and is a Persian and Arabic major at UMD. But the funding that once went to encourage students to learn Persian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and other languages that few Americans do speak has been eliminated. What just a couple of years ago were nearly full scholarships were eliminated in the budget battles last year because the funding for the scholarships was at the Department of Education.

    I swear, I can't see light at the end of the tunnel, instead, the tunnel feels like it's collapsing in on me, and it's my kid who really suffers. Next weekend, she'll be inducted into the freshman honor society. She got nearly all A's her first semester of college and took both Persian and Arabic. She just simply amazes me.

  •  37,600 millionaires pay more than I do... (0+ / 0-)

    and I'm on a pension.

    SHEESH.  How much MORE does Romney want?

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Mittens, Ricky, Gingrich, Limbaugh, pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:40:19 AM PDT

  •  Most people don't have a clue on how taxes work (0+ / 0-)

    I hear so many people say that they pay 50% of their income to taxes - this is damn near impossible or they have a really bad tax strategy.  Don't expect them to know how to use this tool unless their situation is very simple.

    I entered $275 k (1040 line 22) for total income and $36 for total taxes (includes SE tax) and it gave me a total tax rate of 16%.  My calculator says 13% - don't know how it came up with 16%.  I am in Mitt territory for tax rate but make far, far less than him obviously.

    In any event I am lucky to have a good tax strategy with many deductions (mostly related to business) and credits (solar tax credit was the biggest this year).  It takes tons of work, research and good tax software to pull this off though - 77 page pdf for my state and federal return this year - ouch - my accounant and wife are going to share a few margaritas tonight after getting this done.

    •  Correct. Most people have (0+ / 0-)

      a wildly inflated sense of their federal income tax burden. But the tool takes advantage of that fact to make its partisan point, which I suppose means it's doing its job.

      You are reading my signature line. #hashtag

      by cardinal on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:03:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  66,800. (0+ / 0-)

    That's a lotta folks who need to invest more in the United States of America.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 10:46:52 AM PDT

  •  5,700 paid ZERO. /nt (0+ / 0-)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:07:04 AM PDT

  •  74,900 (0+ / 0-)

    millionaires pay more than I do....

    http://www.thehamandlegsshow.com

    by jham710 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:09:40 AM PDT

  •  This is what I wrote to my Senators via the link (0+ / 0-)

    Because I'm fed up to the back teeth of politicians calling themselves "conservative" while their main policy goals inexorably lead to the destruction of society:

    I am a Wisconsinite, and I want you to vote to pass the Buffett Rule on Monday, April 16.

    Even Adam Smith, father of free-market economics, said that higher incomes should be taxed at higher rates than lower ones.

    Should American society be continued to be destabilized by the leading cause of failure of past societies, income inequality?  Do the conservative thing and vote for the Buffet Rule.

    Many millionaires and billionaires pay a lower tax rate than the people who work for them. This rewards being rich rather than hard work (having the money to have a significant fraction of one's income in capital gains rather than salary); leads society down a path of self-destruction; and offends the common sense of fair play.  The status quo is anti-conservative in all respects.

    Vote for the Buffett Rule.

    Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

    by GeoffT on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 11:20:06 AM PDT

  •  Stop Calling it the Buffet Rule... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeoffT, BasharH

    ...Obama has called out the meme, and I agree (having lived through BOTH of the man's terms in the '80's) -- Call it the:

    Reagan Rule

    Watch the wing-nut head explosions in 3... 2... 1...

  •  My federal income tax (0+ / 0-)

    puts me @ 14%, but when I add in SS & Medicare tax (which stops early or doesn't apply to the ultra-rich) it goes up.

  •  by "millionaires" (0+ / 0-)

    they mean people with million dollar incomes, I presume?

  •  so much in common... (0+ / 0-)

    Just for fun -- or for accuracy, if applicable -- enter "O" as your income.  You'll find out that you're paying less than 5% on federal tax, as are "at least 5,200 millionaires."

    So if you have no income, you can feel good about yourself, as you're living just like a millionaire.  

  •  I made just over 13K. I got all my money back. (0+ / 0-)

    And STILL almost SIX THOUSAND millionaires paid less than I did.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 01:13:46 PM PDT

  •  Effective tax rate on $0.00 is (0+ / 0-)

    approximately 6%?!?!

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