Former Virginia governor and current Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine has skewered the Buffett Rule as a pointless measure and an unnecessary debate — which draws attention away from serious deficit reduction, toward obsession over who’s paying what. On a radio show yesterday, as the Washington Free Beacon reports, Kaine had this to say:
I don’t have any problem with the content of it, that the folks who make more should pay more . . . I do question a little bit the priority of doing this right now . . . If the Buffett Rule passes, that will help reduce the deficit by $45 billion over ten years. But right now, Congress has sitting on the desk the question of what do we do with the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at year end. That’s $4 trillion in deficit reduction. You’re having a big battle about what is one percent of the big issue that’s on the table.
I don’t see any evidence that Congress is really talking much about what’s going to happen with the Bush tax cuts. . . . I’d let them expire for over $500,000. If you did that, you would reduce the deficit by over $500 billion. . . . What worries me, is that they’re going to have a big battle about the Buffett Rule, and then they’ll have a big fight about some other little one-off proposal that someone throws on the table, and then they’ll get to year-end and they won’t have talked about the issue that is on the table, that needs a resolution, that is the big ticket issue.