The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama Supports the Flat Tax! Well, Technically.


President Obama, yesterday:

Now, the Republicans, when I talked about this earlier in the week, they said, well, this is class warfare. You know what, if asking a billionaire to pay their fair share of taxes, to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare, then you know what, I’m a warrior for the middle class. (Applause.) I’m happy to fight for the middle class.

“Pay the same rate” — so now Obama supports a flat tax?

Take a look at the tax brackets. Plumbers or teachers who make between $34,901 and $84,500 pay a top federal tax rate of $4,750 plus 25 percent of the amount over $34,500.

Billionaires pay a top income tax rate of $110,016.50 plus 35 percent on all income they make above $379,150.

[These numbers are for single filers; the numbers are slightly different but roughly proportional for married filing jointly.]

In the world view of Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and their ilk, the current top tax rate of 35 percent represents absolute unfairness and is the root of all of our debt and economic problems. But the Clinton-era tax rate of 39.6 percent represents absolute fairness.

Who knew the distance between today’s injustice and economic nirvana was 4.6 percent?

Tags: Barack Obama , Elizabeth Warren , Taxes


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review