The PJ Tatler

Biden Says Higher Taxes are 'Patriotic'

The vice president’s latest isn’t a direct repeat of 2008 but it’s close. Apparently he’s managed to stay on message today.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. sought on Thursday to tie Mitt Romney directly to Republican opposition to higher taxes on millionaires, saying they want a “Romney Rule” that doubles down on tax cuts for the wealthy.

Speaking at an event in New Hampshire, Mr. Biden lashed out at Mr. Romney and Republicans in Congress as the impediments to Democratic efforts to pass what they call the “Buffett Rule” for people who make more than $1 million a year.

“Wealthy people are just as patriotic as middle-class people, as poor people, and they know they should be doing more,” Mr. Biden said. “We’re not supposed to have a system with one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else.”

The top one percent pay far more than their “fair share.” I feel like we write or say this every day, yet the Democrats never seem to acknowledge reality.

Romney has been shrewd on the Buffett Rule so far, by staying quiet. He knows that the instant he says anything, the Democrats will hit him with some version of “You only oppose it because you don’t want to pay more taxes.” Or if he supports it, he’ll be accused by Republicans of being a wimp and a sellout. Biden is just plugging a “Romney Rule” to bait Romney into commenting.

As I’ve previously written, the whole Buffett Rule effort is not about policy or tax reform at all. The president hasn’t even offered real tax reform. The Buffett wouldn’t meaningfully reduce the deficit. The Buffett Rule is about class warfare and putting Romney and the Republicans on the defensive. There will be a vote in Congress Monday, and any Democrat defections to kill the Buffett Rule will bring Obama’s little side show to an abrupt and humiliating end.