Abandon ship? Dick Durbin, Warren Buffett change tone on jobs plan

Neil Munro
The Daily Caller
9/30/2011

White House spokesman Jay Carney today downplayed statements by two political allies who are backing away from President Barack Obama’s top legislative priority, his $447 billion “American Jobs Act.

Obama ally and stock market billionaire Warren Buffett backed away from the “Buffet Rule” tax increase Friday. And one day before, top Senate Democrat Dick Durbin said his Democratic Senate majority doesn’t yet have the votes to pass the bill.

These top-level former endorsers put distance between themselves and the White House as wealthy Americans and many Democratic-leaning professionals recoil from what they see as President Obama’s anti-business attitude, and as the general public’s distrust of government reaches record levels…

…For more than a month, White House officials have used Buffett’s support for a tax increase on wealthy Americans to press for a tax increase on people earning $200,000 or more, though officials have steadfastly refused to describe an income threshold for people covered by the “Buffett Rule.”

Obama has announced that his $447 billion, one-year stimulus plan will be offset by tax hikes worth $464 billion over 10 years. This tax increase would come on top of the administration’s call for $800 billion in taxes to be gained by not extending the tax-cuts won by George W. Bush in 2003, and extended by Obama in late 2010.

But Friday, Buffett announced he wants a very high threshold for activation of the rule. His high threshold would reduce calculations of future tax revenues and so pressure Obama to either curb his promises of spending or his promises of a smaller deficit…

…Buffett’s statement that he favored a very high threshold is a major change from his Aug. 14 op-ed in the New York Times, in which he called for a two-step tax increase on Americans earning more than $1 million, and more than $10 million per year.

Read the entire article at The Daily Caller.

Related: Obama implores trust in government as skepticism rises.

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