Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON - President Obama admitted this week that the "Buffett Rule," his plan to raise taxes on wealthier Americans, is "a gimmick."

"There are others who are saying: 'Well, this is just a gimmick.

Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won't do enough to close the deficit," Obama said Wednesday to a handpicked group of backers the White House gathered here Wednesday.

"Well, I agree," he added. "But the notion that it doesn't solve the entire problem doesn't mean that we shouldn't do it at all."

Where's the logic in that? No, it won't really fix the severe economic problems America faces, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't give it a try.

Actually, raising taxes wouldn't scratch the surface of the gargantuan fiscal and financial mess he has created and that now threatens America's economic security.

The revenue from his Buffett Rule tax increase has been estimated at about $47 billion, a thimble full of what may be needed to pound his huge $1.3 trillion budget deficit into submission. It wouldn't even pay a fraction of the interest on his ballooning $15 trillion debt.

Yet he's made this pathetic excuse for an economic and fiscal agenda the centerpiece of his campaign for another four years.

Before Obama made his "gimmick" remarks, Democrats on Capitol Hill were saying essentially the same thing.

Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, acknowledging Republican criticisms of Obama's Buffett Rule, admitted that it "isn't going to balance the budget. This is an issue about fairness."

"I question the priority of doing this right now," said Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine. "This is tripping over dollar bills to pick up pennies."

So that's what Obama is peddling in this fiscal snake oil remedy that the Senate will vote on next week -- pennies disguised as fairness.

Obama says it isn't fair that wealthy Americans like billionaire Warren Buffett pay a 15 percent tax rate on their income, while other taxpayers pay a higher rate on lower incomes.

Here's what's wrong with Obama's foggy thinking which is sorely in need of an economic overhaul:

1. Obama's tax hike plan is aimed at the capital gains tax which was cut from 20 percent to 15 percent in 2001. That tax, which is levied on dividends, interest and capital gains from stocks, is lower than regular middle income tax rates because the government wants to encourage investment.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.