Obama Takes Class Warfare To The Next Level With The "Buffet Rule" And A New "Millionaire Tax": Is A Market Selloff Imminent?

Tyler Durden's picture

In his increasingly desperate attempts to pander to a population that has by now entirely given up on the hope, and barely has any change left, Obama is going for broke (or technically the reverse) by setting the class warfare bar just that little bit higher. This time around, his targets are millionaires, who according to the NYT are about to see their taxes soar. Or not: nobody really knows if the proposed "Buffett Rule", affectionately known for crony communist #1, will impact just millionaires income tax, which incidentally is the same as what everyone else is paying, or, far more importantly, their Investment Income, which is where the bulk of America's wealthy income comes from. Which incidentally makes all the sense in the world: two and a half years after Bernanke has been desperately doing everything in his power to raise the "wealth effect" if only for the richest 1% of the US population, it is, from the government's perspective, time for the taxman to come knocking and demand his share of the capital gains. Yet what is lost in this ridiculous proposal are the unintended consequences, which always follow idiotic decisions arising out of central planning, number one of which would be a market crash as those who have paper gains since the market lows of 2009, scramble to lock in the old capital gains tax rate of 15% instead of holding on to paper profits that could end up being as high as 35% (or more): an event that would cut actual income by over 25% should one wait to cash out! And since 25% is substantially more than anything that Twist and QE3 and 4 could hope to achieve, it is all too conceivable that those holding on to profitable positions will have had enough, and take their profits, likely converting them into physical and non-dilutable assets along the way. As to whether they would subsequently relocate to far more hospitable countries, such as those that don't foment class warfare, and implicitly invite a civil war, that remains yet to be seen.

In the meantime, here is how Obama just made sure his already record low rating is about to plumb depths unseen since the time of Jimmy Carter, via the NYT:

President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.


With a special joint Congressional committee starting work to reach a bipartisan budget deal by late November, the proposal adds a new and populist feature to Mr. Obama’s effort to raise the political pressure on Republicans to agree to higher revenues from the wealthy in return for Democrats’ support of future cuts from Medicare and Medicaid. 


Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.


Mr. Obama will not specify a rate or other details, and it is unclear how much revenue his plan would raise. But his idea of a millionaires’ minimum tax will be prominent in the broad plan for long-term deficit reduction that he will outline at the White House on Monday.

In other words, another typical Obama ploy: let the details be ironed out in the future, but for now we just want to accentuate the class animosity. After all, it is all too obvious that those millionaires, like Buffett, who so desperately want to show their patriotism for America, are in no way aware that the Treasury has this thing called Pay.gov which allows such uber-patriots to whip out their credit cards and pay down America's record debt, in essence voluntarily doing what Obama plans to enforce for everyone else. We are certain that Mr. Buffett will promptly demonstrate to the public his receipt from precisely such a patriotic transaction.

As for the proposal, to say that it is doomed would be optimistic:

The Obama proposal has little chance of becoming law unless Republican lawmakers bend. But by focusing on the wealthiest Americans, the president is sharpening the contrast between Republicans and Democrats with a theme he can carry into his bid for re-election in 2012.


It could also reassure Democrats who have feared that Mr. Obama would agree to changes in programs like Medicare without forcing Republicans to compromise on taxes.


The administration wants such a tax to replace the alternative minimum tax, which was created decades ago to make sure the richest taxpayers with plentiful deductions and credits did not avoid income taxes, but which now hits millions of Americans who are considered upper middle class. Mr. Obama has said that many average Americans could see a tax cut if the system is overhauled, since ending many tax breaks would allow for lower rates while raising more revenues from the wealthiest.


The millionaires’ tax is among several changes Mr. Obama will propose in urging Congress to overhaul the federal income tax code next year, both to raise revenues for reducing deficits and to make the tax system simpler and fairer, said the administration officials, who agreed to speak in advance of the president’s announcement on the condition of anonymity.


The millionaires’ rate would affect only 0.3 percent of taxpayers, they said. That would be fewer than 450,000; 144 million returns were filed for 2010.

That's wonderful: in other words it is very few of the people who, mostly through years of hard work, have succeeded in breaking through the vaunted 7 digit net worth figure. But the good news is that Buffett, instead of focusing on his own share of philantropy, believes that it is his centrally planned duty to enforce his strict lack of moral code on everyone else. Too bad the other millionaires do not have the billions necessary to become one with the TBTFs and know that whatever they put their money in, Uncle Sam will never let it blow up.

If Obama wants to enact a Buffett Rule, how about instead of addressing taxes, said rule makes it clear that capitalism is coming back to replace the crony communist regime we have all grown to love and enjoy for the past 3 years, and individual failure is once again an option, instead of the socialist risk phenomenon that Buffett, more than any one individual America has grown to symbolize and represent?

Furthermore, when the $1MM cutoff fails, which it inevitably will (the rich are rich for a reason: they tend to be, for the most part, quite adept at finding loopholes), and those targeted promptly "offshore" themselves, what will Obama's next "rich" cutoff be: $500,000? $100,000? $25,000? Those on Earned Income Tax Credit? Sooner or later, you know Obama is coming for you.

Lastly, and presumably comically, considering that 41.2% of the "middle class" pays no income taxes, we wonder if this is not just a ploy by a wily Buffett, who knows the loophole in the tax code better than anyone, to make sure that nearly half of all millionaires pay... absolutely nothing.

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prole's picture

Just send the entire bill to Buffet.

Crisismode's picture

Do you ACTUALLY think that Obama has ANYONE's interest at heart other than his own?


He's just faking for time.

When the clock runs out, he's gone.

And YOU are left holding the bag.

Paybacks are VERY tough.


f16hoser's picture

Don't you mean "....bag SUCKA?"

Could explain the sell-off on Friday. Somebody didn't wanna be long going into the weekend. All this insider shit is really pissing me off!

Thomas's picture

What income bracket qualifies us to be millionaires?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Michelle is so health concious but she may have never heard that GMO causes far greater health risks than any of her other concerns.

She is just power hungry.

Pool Shark's picture

What does a company that mines molybdenum have to do with health risks?


Mauibrad's picture


Ron Paul wins California GOP straw poll Sept. 17th, check this out:


SilverDosed's picture

The repubs should pass it, but tack on a "Barbarous relic" rule whereupon all investments in PM's will be exempt from capital gains or "collectibles" taxes. This would help slow the flow of real wealth from west to east.

Maniac Researcher's picture

Woo - Repubulican talking points. Gosh the originality of analysis on ZH is astounding. Really.

So what, the only difference between this and Fox is that white supremacists don't have to censor themselves? Don't let your hands get sore patting yourselves on your backs.


This reminds of a post I made some time ago. It seems to be more apt now:


...let's get back to what Zerohedge supposedly is - a site that promotes a certain type of view to a certain class of people. Fine, whatever - it's the internet. However --- the big problem is legitimacy.
You see, when people are feeling anxious and insecure, they reach for all sorts of justifications for the worldview which informs their actions. Thus, when writers like Tyler present these justifications in the guise of empiricism - when the goal really is to promote a particular view regardless of the facts, this is bullshit. And frankly, most of the time it's done pretty sloppily, as it's done here today. It becomes particularly obvious when you watch the same disingenuous behavior repeated over and over again.

Anyway, that's the problem when you're trying to present analysis. It has to actually be analytical. What we have here is simply shit talking. Luckily, this is why god invented calling bullshit.



Smiley's picture

The people on ZH sound more like normal people I talk to everyday.  If this place is to blunt for your tastes you can always go to HuffPo and wrap yourself up in a nice warm rainbow from the happy land of pink fuzzy things.

Maniac Researcher's picture

...while we're on the subject of overactive imaginations (and underactive analytical ability), your false equivalency/strawman belies your position far more than my comment. Thanks for providing an example to illustrate my point.

Smiley's picture

I do hope you are helping your mother with the electric bill.

AssFire's picture

There is no debate here for any social agenda, so you may have no place.

It is understood here that both Repubs and Demo parties are looting thieves.

It is understood here that America has become what everyone fled from in Europe.

I don't think you are past the victim stage if you are trying to blame ZH and Fox, I suggest you fuck off.


Maniac Researcher's picture

That assertion is idiotic.


Top story on ZH currently:

Another Victory For Ron Paul Who Wins 44.9% In California Straw Poll To Perry's 29.3%, Bachmann's 7.7%

This article is full of Ron Paul cheerleading. I fail to see how cheerleading republicans = equating them with thieves.

Central Bankster's picture

We caught a rare glimplse of the forum Troll, Maniac Researcher, after returning from his National Socialist Party meeting:



Strike Back's picture

You use verbosity to mask an unsupported statement, being, ZH is illegitimate because it promotes a point of view without supporting facts.  Yet you fail to point to even one unsupported article.  You paint the entire ZH community as supporting white supremecism when white supremecists get ridiculed or ignored here with frequency.  Big words don't mask weak arguments.

Maniac Researcher's picture

If you truly feel my argument is flawed, I'd be happy to email you directly each bigoted comment I read here. In fact, I'd be happy to not only send you the comments in question, but also a comparison of the number of junks between those comments criticizing said bigoted statement and the junks associated with each individual bigoted comment themselves.

I visit once per month. I'm willing to bet one visit would be enough to fill your inbox. Are you ready to back up your assertion? I doubt it.

Perhaps if you continue reading past your 37th week, you'll take a look around and...shut the fuck up. How's that for verbosity?

Of course, if you like, we can have it out right here and I can repost my years worth of responses to various homophobic, woman-bashing, racist, and generally hateful statements I have seen on Zerohedge. (and yes, I've been around a lot longer than my profile would suggest). I've saved many. I'd be happy to share.

We can go there. Me'thinks you don't have the stomach for it.

malalingua's picture

I do.  Bring it.  I like charts.  Pretty charts with the colors of the rainbow.  So.  If you do any sort of comparison analysis please post right away. 

Maniac Researcher's picture

Did you really think I was going to jump because you clapped? Let's add deluded to this list of your less attractive characteristics. There's a button called "track" - I suggest you start there; that is until you actually publish an email address on this thread I can send examples to. I still doubt anyone here has the stones to actually do that.

Of course, by the time I get to sending you anything - the spambots will have you. Zerohedge is a cesspool of ad-droids, wannabe anarchists, incompetent hackers, and violent thugs.

And finally, did you really think I was going to spend all my time giving you and your petty friends attention? There are, in fact, other things I do besides pointing out the gaping holes in your various ideological constructions, worldviews, and conspiracy theories. As you may of noticed by the time stamps on my comments, it doesn't take me long to do and I can do it any hour of the day.

A common troll tactic is demanding they be "educated" in order to deliberately waste the time and energy of individuals making valid points they don't agree with. This isn't new or original - just as everything coming out of your pie hole is neither new or original. It's transparent.


Here's an excerpt from "Derailing for Dummies" -- sound familiar?


If You Won't Educate Me How Can I Learn Whilst seemingly simple on the surface, there is some intertwining subtext embedded within this one.

First of all, you’re placing responsibility for your education back onto the Marginalised Person™. As they are obviously engaged with these issues, and care about them, they are hopeful that Privileged People® may one day start listening and taking onboard what they have to say. By placing responsibility to educate in their hands, you tug at this yearning. You may even successfully make many question themselves and their selfish expectations that you utilise the hundreds upon hundreds of resources on the subject available to you as a Privileged Person®! After all, anyone who expects you to be able to research a topic by yourself also clearly expects you to be far more of a functioning adult than you're acting! 
By insisting you can only learn if they right then and there sacrifice further hours of time going over the same ground they have so often in the past, you may also make them give up and go away altogether, enabling you to win by default.

But further, you give the impression that you really want to learn, but they’re holding you back! That’s right, using this tactic you can suggest that full understanding is what you crave - you want to be a better, more connected and compassionate person - but it’s not your fault! Nobody ever gave you the education! And now that someone is here who is so obviously qualified, they’re denying you your Privilege® given right to have everything you want handed to you on a platter!

Which brings us to another key component of this argument - it is very important, in conversations with Marginalised People™, to constantly remind them that you are, indeed, Privileged®. By demonstrating your belief that Marginalised People™ should immediately gratify your every whim, you remind them of their place in society. After all, they’re not there to live lives free of discrimination and in happy, independent and fulfilling ways! Please! Marginalised People™ exist for your curiosity and to make you generally feel better about your place in society and don’t let them forget it!

Point one to you!

If You Cared About These Matters You'd Be Willing To Educate Me This is the natural follow-up to the above argument, although it can also be used independently.

You see, often in these discussions a Marginalised Person™ will tell you it’s not their responsibility to educate you. This is because Marginalised People™ believe that they have other priorities in life, like working and studying and being with their families for example. 

Clearly, they are labouring under a misperception - as a Privileged Person® you have far more right to their time than they do, and besides, don’t they want to make the world a better place? Isn’t that why they alerted you to the fact you were being offensive in the first place? Well, now clearly your education is their responsibility!
By placing this burden of responsibility onto them you remind them of just how daunting a task that is and how their lives are constantly being monopolised by the Privileged®, even in something that should be empowering to them, like deconstructing discrimination.

You trivialise their lives, needs, interests and obligations by suggesting they should be spending all of their time and energy in engaging with clueless Privileged People®, putting in hours and hours of effort in repeating the exact same thing they’ve already said three thousand times to three thousand other Privileged People® in their past.

And furthermore, you remind them that, if they really cared about their own issues, they’d willingly take that task on! Surely it’s a small price to pay to change people‘s minds?

Well, you want them to think that, but of course it isn’t.  After all, most of the conversations they have with Privileged People® often feel to them like beating their heads repeatedly against a brick wall embedded with rusty spikes. 

Which is entirely the point. Keep them worn out and exhausted and maybe they’ll just go away.

Strike Back's picture

You have posting non-responses down to an art.  You said you would post here.  Bluff called, bitch.

New_Meat's picture

more fodder for the skoshi' "researcher".  Had a call from AttachWatch.com yet? ;-)

Maniac Researcher's picture

I think Trav provided your first example.

boiltherich's picture

And of course no bitch fight would be complete without the closet case Trav weighing in with drivel hate speech.

Bring the Gold's picture

While Maniac isn't going to win any friends this way, he does have a point. ZH is rife with racism, classism and sexism.

That doesn't mean that Tyler(s) support it, as far as I can tell the Tyler(s) seem to support open debate with no holds barred.

That said ZH is certainly filled to the brim with sexist, racist, classist A-holes, but that shouldn't be surpirsing given that it's an economic news site.

Suggesting that ZH is a homogenous entity is false, but denying the substantial racism, classism and sexism of the commentors is just as false if not more so. Given ZH demographics I've seen linked, I think Maniac has a valid point even if his/her rhetoric is filled with generalizations.

Maniac Researcher's picture

I think you're mistaking "no holds barred" with excusing hate speech, which contrary to the irresponsible beliefs of the average ZHer, has real-life implications in the form of violence, disenfranchisement, and systemic discrimination.

Of course, privileged individuals who have never experienced this sometimes promote the absurd notion that just because they haven't experienced it personally, means it doesn't exist. That is a dangerously short-sighted assertion, and demonstrates a deep ignorance of both recent and distant history.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Asking for justice is never hate speech, IMO.

boiltherich's picture

It certainly is when you use words that indict or scapegoat whole classes of citizens as opposed to pointing out flaws in the logic of individuals, take the closet case Trav for example, never misses a chance to spew hate speech at gay people while asking or demanding nothing, not justice, not fairness, not even attempting to find out who or what is behind any problem, just hate for his beloved "fags."  When a poster like that is permitted to use such words with YOU not speaking up then you are just as much a part of the problem as if you soiled the boards yourself.

If you need to run down millions of other people in your pursuit of justice then it is not justice you seek, but it is a frantic search for some self esteem of your own.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

And then, amazingly, they got a waiver from ObamaCare.


espirit's picture

"144 million returns were filed for 2010 / considering that 41.2% of the "middle class" pays no income taxes"

Figuring that 40 mil are on food stamps or unemployed, probably at poverty level, and pay no tax - the gubbermint better have a plan soon to find the revenue for continued operation or the outcome sure isn't going to be pretty.

Last one out, turn off the lights.

nmewn's picture

What amazes me, is that they're not even very good dictators or kings or actors or stewards or whatever they pretend to be.

They are mocked daily for their transparent idiocy and they continue on as if no one notices.

Very strange behavior for the best and brightest among us ;-)

New_Meat's picture

If they are indeed smart, and the results are as we see, do you think that they might have different goals in mind than they state?

I do.

- Ned

nmewn's picture

Certainly so. Their goals are not my goals.

Their goals involve a whole lot more interference with my small little insignificant doobydoo's, than I will ever tolerate.

When it gets down to WE will decide what you eat/speak & hear...and WE will decide how you raise your kids...and WE will decide capital allocations based on the debt WE impose on you...it becomes a totally different matter of what I signed up for doesn't it?

We are now closing in on a point where decisions will have to be made on the direction of the country/society. If the decision is not to my liking...well then, that leaves me with a decision to make.

In any event, it won't be helpful to those who put the impositions on me...it will be the exact opposite ;-)

New_Meat's picture

"sit down and eat your peas--and, oh, by the way, your sandwich has mustard on it today" ;-)

LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly, everyone makes choices every day, think, decide, and move the fuck on already.  When a system becomes bad enough, people simply stop participating, only then do you get any real changes.  Hedge accordingly (ironic I know).

knukles's picture

Pure Sociopathy in Action.
Bought Lock, Stock and Barrel by the Consumer therof.
Not liked, but still bought....

X.inf.capt's picture

if you made a big cotribution to theGOP/DNC, your exempt.

JW n FL's picture



Comet Elenin deflection by unknown force NASA images


jballz's picture


It's just a lens flare from Jupiter.

Though if there is a massive earthquake on 9/26 I will probably retract the observation...for now,it is just a fuckin lens flare. Elenin was turning back in its orbit and creates the illusion.

LasVegasDave's picture

Probably the Jews again.

Or maybe Jay Z and his space niggers on the way to Mars

midtowng's picture

The sad thing about Obama's proposal is that everyone knows ahead of time that there is absolutely not chance it will pass the Republican House. Therefore this is all just pandering.

If Obama was serious about it, he would have proposed this BEFORE the 2010 election.

New_Meat's picture

or rammed it through during the "lame duck."

Fake Jim Quinn's picture

In NY, the wonderful government has a "millionaires tax" that kicks in at $200,000 earnings per year. Orwell had this right.

X.inf.capt's picture

orwell was right about alot of things....


mt paul's picture



what is...

the price of gold

next week ...