Monday, September 19, 2011

Reason #26: Bluffing

You would think that the newly-coined "Buffett Rule" would be a given - that millionaires should pay at least the same relative amount of taxes as the middle class - and the argument would be whether to make the millionaires' tax rate higher.

So I can appreciate Obama pushing that as a "guiding principle" for this new round of tax reform - even if it's not tied to any specific component of said reform, and even knowing that it would die a sad, lonely death if it was. Because even though I'm way, way past trusting him to really fix anything (the phrase "too little, too late" comes to mind), he seems to finally be embracing his greatest role, as director of the national conversation.

For example - in my gut, I always wanted Obama to be more aggressive in eliminating Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The analytical part of me will always give the credit to Harry Reid for that, because he's the one who actually saw the window of opportunity they had for it and brought it to the floor at that moment. But I can't ignore the sense I have - also in my gut - that Obama knew what he was doing there, and rather than unilaterally striking DADT down the second he had the chance, he did his part simply by pointing out how stupid it was, and letting things run their course legislatively.

So for him to start the tax conversation from the position that yes, millionaires should be paying more taxes - aside from the tactical advantage of not pre-compromising like he did with Health Care and the Debt Ceiling - means that at least we're talking about it now. I started this blog because no one in government seemed to be willing to even broach the subject of higher taxes, for anyone, ever. So it's kind of gratifying that now, less than six weeks in, Obama is taking at least the tiniest baby steps toward catching up with me.

Doesn't mean I'm voting for him again, though.

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