In November, during his first public appearance after winning reelection, President Obama said making “folks at the top [pay] their fair share” would be a “guiding principle . . . during the next four years of my administration.”
Well, it seems the president still isn’t quite sure what “fair share” means, or even who, exactly, should be paying it. (Remember the $250,000 threshold he absolutely wouldn’t budge from?) But he is quite comfortable with expanding the definition.
Here’s the official White House statement on the recently approved fiscal-cliff legislation, which raised income-tax rates and limited deductions on individuals and small businesses earning more than $400,000 a year (emphasis added):
At this make or break moment for the middle class, the President achieved a bipartisan solution that keeps income taxes low for the middle class and grows the economy. For the first time in 20 years, Congress will have acted on a bipartisan basis to vote for significant new revenue. This means millionaires and billionaires will pay their fair share to reduce the deficit through a combination of permanent tax rate increases and reduced tax benefits. And this agreement ensures that we can continue to make investments in education, clean energy, and manufacturing that create jobs and strengthen the middle class.
Here’s what Obama said today:
Two weeks ago, I signed into law more than $600 billion in new revenue by making sure the wealthiest Americans begin to pay their fair share.
He went on to hail that bill as a success due to the fact that “millionaires and billionaires are paying significantly more in taxes,” but also called for even more new tax revenue, achieved by “closing loopholes in our tax code for the wealthiest Americans.”
Obama’s $600 billion tax hike. Significant, but only the beginning.