Over at the HuffPo, they mention that the purpose is to make sure that millionaires pay at least the same percentage as middle class tax payers; possibly something like Warren Buffett outlined in his op-ed in the NYT. Here (Details are still sketchy as it is yet to be officially announced.)
While this is (hopefully) a breath of fresh air from the Obama (finally), I somehow doubt this will be able to pass the House. (Ok, lets be real, it’s next to impossible) But the notion that Obama is actually willing to suggest a Democratic policy is very news worthy. Time after time he has more than compromised to the Republicans. Gitmo is still open and appears to stay open for the foreseeable future, we are still in two (three) wars (He increased the troops in Afghanistan by 34,000!). He is not for gay marriage, he sued when DADT was ruled unconstitutional (yes, it’s gone now, but he still prolonged the life of DADT), we are fighting a hopeless and burdensome war on drug consumers, the Bush tax cuts were extended, he gave in to EVERYTHING on the debt ceiling (Boehner even said they got 98% of what they asked for), he gave up the public option in health care reform, he allows offshore drilling (yes, it was stopped during the BP spill but it has recently started up again), he recently ignored the EPA’s recommendation to lower the smog limit, he appears to be fine with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, he nominated Francis Collins to head the NIH (he started the crackpot BioLogos Foundation), he nominated Republicans (or conservatives) to high positions, etc. etc. etc..
The list really never seems to end. It’s pathetic that we have a “Dem” who is to the right of the AVERAGE REPUBLICAN VOTER. See here.
For these reasons, among others, I can’t see much happening with this “Buffett Rule” tax on the wealthy. Obviously I welcome it, but looking through the past moves of this administration, it seems highly unlikely.
Why continue with austerity? Europe tried it, and look at the mess they are in now.