Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Why Obama Needs the Gandhi Rule, Not the Buffett Rule


The Buffett Rule might be dead. But that doesn't mean Americans are going to get any respite from all the yammering about "tax fairness" because President Obama is determined to make his tax-the-rich agenda the dominant plank of his reelection campaign. However, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia notes in her column for The Daily today that if the president were sincere about his cause, he would replace the Buffett Rule with the Gandhi Rule and apply it to his own tax returns. Gandhi said – and the president oft repeated during his last campaign – "be the change you wish to see." That means the president should have at least calculated his taxes in order to maximize his giving to Uncle Sam. But he didn't. She notes:

Obama's tax returns (released last week) show that he paid a 20 percent effective tax rate on his $790,000 income — slightly lower than his secretary's and a whole four points lower than the average rate for people in his income category. He could have easily avoided this by filing his tax returns the way he advocates millionaires do — by forgoing all deductions. But he didn't. Not only did he claim a $47,564 mortgage deduction on his $1.6 million home in Chicago, he also claimed tax breaks on the $172,130 — about 22 percent of his gross adjusted income — he gave to charity….

It almost seems that the president would rather give his money to literally anyone but the government. He didn't break any laws in the process, but many of his fellow tax-and-spend liberals in fact do.

Read the whole thing here.