Heidi Heitkamp Backs “Buffett Rule” Tax Hikes, Calls Tax Cuts A Government “Giveaway”


Liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp is accusing Rick Berg of trying to give himself a quarter-million tax cut. “A new independent analysis by the Tax Policy Center shows that Rep. Berg’s vote to support Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget would cut Berg’s own taxes by $265,000, a giveaway that is paid for in part by ending the guarantee of Medicare, raising Medicare premiums for North Dakotans by $6,000, and slashing farm programs like crop insurance,” reads a posting on Heitkamp’s campaign website.

She’s referring to this study by the left-wing Brookings Institute which claims that the Ryan budget “those making $1 million or more would enjoy an average tax cut of $265,000 and see their after-tax income increase by 12.5 percent.”

You’ve got to love the Obama-style class warfare tactics Heitkamp is embracing for her campaign in North Dakota…where Obama isn’t very popular. That’s a mistake, I think, but I digress.

It seems to me that no matter what your politics, a tax cut isn’t a “giveaway.” We can argue about whether or not any specific tax reduction is sound policy, but our money is our money. It’s not the government’s money. Letting us keep our money is not the same thing as, say, being on food stamps.

I’ve never understood why the left thinks government entitlement programs are noble things, but somehow a tax cut is welfare.

Now, setting aside the obvious problems with Heitkamp’s math (I’m guessing that not all of Rep. Berg’s wealth is wage income, so the Brookings Institute calculations don’t necessarily transfer over), if she hates Paul Ryan’s budget so much what sort of policies does she endorse to reduce the deficit?

We’ve talked about her laughable proposals for cutting congressional pay (which would save enough money to last the federal government for less than 3 hours) and a balanced budget amendment (which would only apply to about 1/3 of the budget), but how about Heitkamp’s support for the so-called “Buffett Rule” that would institute a 30% minimum federal tax on people earning more than $2 million per year?

Well, that’s not a very meaningful proposal either. Via Political Math, this is the difference the “Buffett Rule” would make in the budget deficit.

Heitkamp can certainly bluster about the national debt with the best of them, but she’s just another iteration of the sort of politician who is unserious about fixing this problem. The Ryan budget, for better or worse, is at least a serious attempt to address a serious problem. Unlike what Democrats, lead by Senator Kent Conrad the Democrat who Heitkamp would like to replace, who can’t even be bothered to propose a budget.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Wesbutte

    It’s like having the government granting you permission to keep more or less of the money you earned.   She really is a democrap piece of work.

  • exsanguine

    The stupid. It burns.

  • cherz1967

    can you imagine what someone could do with 265,000 more of their own money as opposed to the government spending it?

  • Jay

    Is it really possible Heitkamp is this much of a lightweight? I guess so.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Well she’s campaigning like it’s still 1998.  She’s counting on the public being as ill-informed as we were back then.

      But things have changed, blogs being not the least of the changes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Willis-Forster/100002880371309 Willis Forster

    She reveals herself as a an obama socialist by calling letting people keep the money they earned, giving them govt. money, as though all money belonged to the govt.. She also reveals she is stupid but again she has that in common with obama.

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    If your world view is that ALL MONEY STARTS OFF BELONGING TO THE GOVERNMENT (which is the world view of Heidi Hi and a majority of liberal democrats); then the comment about “tax cuts being government spending” makes perfect sense.

    Obama started slipping similar language into his talks last year; about lower rates of taxation = “spending in the tax code.”

    Of course, to those of us in literalville-who actually get up every morning; take a shower and slap on our ties or jeans and bust our asses to actually create and produce something, this world-view is as deeply offensive as it is laughably misguided, dangerous and absurd.

    • Bat One


      If Heitkamp was really opposed to “government giveaways” and “subsidies” she would champion repeal of the so-called “Earned Income Credit” which takes money from those who actually pay taxes and hands it out to those who don’t.

    • Game


      Name one
      time ever where “Heidi Hi” has ever said that all money stats off
      belonging to the Government, or for that matter, where any liberal democrat has
      ever said that?

      Now we know
      that you will never be able to find a quote, because she does not believe that.
      She just supports a differ type of tax policy than you do, so you are intellectually
      unable to debate that issue so you bring out a tried and often used right wing straw
      man argument.

      That would
      be like me saying that Rick Berg and a majority of right wing republicans are
      anti-government types who want to bankrupt the country through low taxes as a
      way of creating a type of social re-engineering in order to build a type of
      free market utopia in which the working class is forced to work at low wages
      and the upper class is not burdened by paying for any type of supportive infrastructure
      that they don’t want.

      • Blackout25

        That is flat out ridiculous.  I know this, I know that Heitkamp is anti second amendment.  I also know that she is anti 10th Amendment.  She’s pro abortion.  She supported Obamacare.  I know these things.  That’s enough for me.  The stuff Rob just reported is icing on the cake.  Oh and Heidi Heitkamp is a flat out liar on a number of things.  Don’t believe me?  Ask some of her ex co-workers.

      • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

        “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s better for everyone.”

        “I do think, at some point, you’ve made enough money.”

        “The rich aren’t paying their fair share.”

        “We just can’t afford to continue this kind of spending in the tax code.”  (referring to the lower rates of taxation in the Bush Tax cuts set to expire 12/31/12)

        “Tax cuts are a government giveaway.”

        “This ‘you’re on your own’ economy doesn’t work…..it has never worked!”

        “This Republican budget would….(starve the elderly; crash airplanes in mid-flight; kill children with autism; allow more rapes to occur; and last but God forbid not least REDUCE THE ACCURACY OF WEATHER FORCASTS.)”

        Judge for yourself, Game, but this sure sounds to me like BHO and Heidi Hi feel entitlted to the first bite of every scintilla of wealth created by the producers of society.

        You see, here in Literalville; when rates of taxation are lowered on the producers of society, it is viewed as hard-working people keeping more of their own wealth which they have earned through their own efforts. Not having it confiscated from them, by the Governmet.

        But in Obamaville and Heidiville…and I strongly suspect in your little corner of the reality….it’s actually called “spending in the tax code” or a “government giveaway” or “the 1% not paying their fair share.”

        And the only way those ludicrous statements can be made with a straight face is if your world-view is, ALL MONEY STARTS OUT BELONGING TO THE GOVERNMENT. And some small scraps will be tossed out to the people, through the great benificence of our Dear Leader.

        BTW on the retated note of the abject economic illiteracy displayed by these liberal arguments,I would direct you to my Guest Post of a few months ago about the actual effects of lowering the rates of taxation.

        • Game

          I reject the “redistribution of wealth” talking point. 100%
          of taxes is “redistribution” of money. So unless you support a 0% tax rate, you
          support redistribution of money. Now we can argue about what the right tax rate
          is, however, all taxes redistribute money.   However, if you believe in the American Dream,
          you believe that wealth is not static. If you believe in free enterprises, wealth
          is not static. This American country is better and our economy only functions
          when money is moved.   Now nobody is saying that all money should be
          moved by the government, however, 
          everybody agrees that money must be moved in our economy.  
          Not one person is going to go from being rich to poverty if the tax rate on millionaires is increased by 3%.

          I love how republicans always forget about that  1993, Congress passed the Omnibus Budget
          Reconciliation Act of 1993. This act added two additional tax brackets.
          That was hailed by Republicans as the “largest tax increase in history” and
          promised that it would lead to record unemployment and record deficits.

          However, by the year 2000, we had a balanced budget and
          record low unemployment.

          Republicans also love to talk about how proud they are of
          the Economic
          Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax
          Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Both of these were promised to balance the
          budget by increasing revenues. However, according to the CBO, both have led to increased
          deficits, and by the time they were fully implemented, we had record high

          are at a point in our country when we need to significantly change our tax
          system (with the reality that it will bring in more revenue) and we need significant

          • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

            Actually, tax monies used for the handful of enumerated, Constitutionally mandated functions of the Federal Government are in fact, not redistributed.

            I’m happy to pay taxes for these functions and presently, they could be done on about 35% of the current budget.

            Your attempts to show there are no precise correlations between increases and decreases in tax rates; and budget deficits demonstrates extreme economic ignorance.

            Lowering rates of taxation INCREASES tax revenue-every time it is tried.  Under JFK, Reagan and Bush.  EVERY time.

            But there is another side of the deficit equation; one you conveniently omit-SPENDING.

            So if lower tax rates raise tax revenue $1 by spurring growth in the private sector; but a liberal democrat Congress or a RINO like George W. Bush increases spending $2, then the deficit goes up even with increased revenue-understand?

            Conversely, if a Clinton tax increase dampens the economy and lowers tax revenue; but a conservative Congress is elected and drags Clinton kicking and screaming into some fiscal restraint; then the budget can be balanced even with less revenue-understand?

            Perhaps you’re not aware that you’ve illustrated that the only time in many of our lifetimes that this country’s budget was balanced was when an extremely conservative Congress was controlling the purse strings.

            Your man BHO is on a deficit spending spree literally unparalled in all of human history with no end in sight.  LIterally incomprehensible generational theft. Where are your cries of outrage?

            No; all you’ve got is the usual-“tax the rich.”

            My friend, the “rich” don’t have enough money to make a tiny dent in the deficit spending occuring at this time.

          • Game

            What you fail to understand is that the only time a president has ever balanced a budget, he did it with spending cuts and tax increases.
            I once heard an accountant who said that we should redo the entire tax system every 20 years or so.  That is exactly what we should do right now. We should redo our whole tax system and make it simpler. However, the GOP will never agree to that.
            We do need cuts to spending. Something along the lines of what was laid out by Simpson-Bowles. Tax increases, tax simplification, and spending cuts.  Republicans will never agree to that. They want to cut funding for Public Radio and the EPA, but they don’t want to cut farm programs or military spending. They don’t want to publically support increasing the Social Security Age or changes to Medicare.
             Simpson-Bowels, would have significantly cut the deficit, yet right wing hero Paul Ryan could not move fast enough to vote no. That shows the values of the far right.
            Yet every year, there is Paul Ryan putting out budgets he knows has no chance of being passed and claiming that he is a fiscal hero. It is all about a dog and pony show about fiscal responsibility on the right

          • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

            Game, any intellectually honest observer of the past 6 years could conclude nothing other than your comments are not only delusional; they are precisely 180-degrees out of phase with the reality of things.

            It was your man, BHO who empaneled the Simpson-Bowles commission as a show and then utterly disregarded their every suggestion in his 2 “budgets” which gleefully engaged in massive deficit spending for eternity.

            The 2 budgets that combined did not receive a single vote in Congress or the Senate.  Not one!  Not even from Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, they were that obsencely bad.

            Then Paul Ryan does try to present a moderate solution that would fix the big issues over a gentle adjustment curve, a long period of time, including SS for those under 55, and your Democrat party made TV commercials with a Paul Ryan lookalike pushing a grandma off a cliff wheelchair and all.

            Further there are no leading Democrats anywhere in Washington calling for anything other than more deficit spending piled upon more deficit spending.

            Paul Ryan’s plan to gradually cut government spending was accused by your man BHO of everything from killing autistic chilldren to causing planes to drop out of the air to (gasp) reducing the reliability of weather forcasts!

            Democrats have always liked to tax and spend, but BHO and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have a creative new twist: spend, THEN tax.

            As for tax simplication, Republican Senators, Congressman and Presidential Candidates have been the ONLY serious voices on the issue; raising ideas from the flat tax to a national sales tax to Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan to the Mac-Penny plan to Paul Ryan’s budget including tax rate reductions with the elimination of most deductions.

            Meanwhile, your man BHO is robbing Medicare of $500,000,000 to fund Obamacare and you think it’s just dandy.

            Finally, what part of “reducing the rates of taxation, increase tax revenue, EVERY TIME” failed to register with you?

            Revenues to the Treausry doubled after Regan’s tax cuts and went up 50% after the Bush tax cuts.  But those increased revenues were simply no match for the insatiable desire of those in Washington to spend, spend, spend other people’s money.

            And when the real money was gone, BHO just went on printing and borrowing on the “Credit Card of China” – you know, the behaviors he said are “Unpatriotic” when George Bush did it and he was a Senator.

            Game it’s clear that no facts-no reason-no power on Earth or Heaven can affect your rigid, self-delusional view.

            But I respond in hopes that some other soul reading this might join those of us here in Literalville.

          • Game

             Patrick, I know that you are not used to being challenged on your talking points, so I understand your desire to insult me. However, the Paul Ryan budget has never had any chance of being passed. It was a dog and pony show. It was nothing but a stunt. We have a divided government. We must have a coalition plan that will get votes from Republicans, Democrats and Independents. In the Senate, we would need a super majority. The Paul Ryan budget has never had a chance of that. Paul Ryan had a chance, as a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowels) to vote for a bi-partisan plan that would significantly reduce the deficit. He voted no. His vote contributed to that plan not being endorsed.  His vote kept that plan from going to the house or Senate. He voted no on a budget that had a chance of being passed. He voted no on a plan had the support of democrats in the Senate (not something that can be said of any of the Ryan budgets). But he is a right wing hero for putting out budgets that have no chance of being passed.
            I love the right wing talking point about how Obama’s budget failed to get a vote. If I was in the house our Senate, I would not vote for a budget that had no chance of being law. Guess what, Paul Ryan’s Budget and the Obama budget have both failed to become a law, so they are equal in my mind. Just failed policy.
            By the way, I hate Nancy Pelosi more than most conservatives do. So is a terrible leader and has done nothing to help our cause. I still think our country would have been better off if Rahm Emmanuel had been named Speaker of the House a few years back.

          • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

            #1.  The Ryan budget passed twice in the Congress, both times with dozens of Democrat votes.  It was prevented from coming to a vote in the Democrat controlled Senate.

            BHO’s budget received NO votes…ZERO…none from Democrats, NONE from anyone.  Yet, you view these as equivalent-very telling.

            #2.  No matter how much revenue is raised, politicans have demonstrated an ability to spend more.  BUT-if you forcibly constrain spending enough, the budget can be balanced no matter what the revenues.  Just like in a household.  Your unwillingness to acknowledge the issue as a spending problem says it all.

            #3.  I don’t have “views” on the effects of lowering the rates of taxation, I am stating empircal, proven facts.  JFK-Reagan-Bush.  When rates of taxation are lowered, actual revenue collected increases due to the dynamic nature of the economy.

            #4.  Your wistful pining for Rahm Emanuel-one of the most vicious, partisian, vengeful political hacks ever visited upon the planet as Speaker-says about anything else anyone would need to know.

          • Game

            Sorry, one more thing, as much as you insult me for being
            ignorant in regards to economics, do you really think that all economist in the
            world agree with your views on cuts their effects on the economy?

            Because if you do, you may want to read a little from the
            conservative economist Ben Stein.

          • Econwarrior

            You seem to want to make this personal, which is typical of a liberal, but balancing a budget is a matter of simple accounting, and not even controversial, except for those Democrats who want an ever larger chunk of our earnings with which to buy votes from special interest groups.
            Jacking up taxes will simply excuse more spending, which then leads to more attempts to jack up taxes, and so on an so forth.  The only way to cure debt is to cut spending, which has the added virtue of increasing economic activity in the private sector, which pays for everything.

          • Game

            I have actually tried to not make this personal.

            I have also said that I supported Simpson-Bowles which had massive spending cuts.

            The only way that has ever been proven to balance the federal budget is to raise revenue and cut spending.

  • mikemc1970

    She doesn’t look like the type woman who would want any unnecessary rules for buffets.

    • RCND

      That’s cold blooded man

      • Guest

         I promise not to turn into a scold on this, but, c’mon. Every comment like this, a smirk or attack based on her gender, weight, age or hair color just fires up Heitkamp’s base. And, it shows you guys — I assume to be Berg supporters — to be jerks.

        So knock it off. Keep to the policy, record, and substance.

        • 308T

          Boohoohoo! If bad mouthing an ugly liberal like Heidi RatKamp is going to get Berg beaten in November then he doesn’t have much of a chance of winning(your logic not mine). She’s ugly,annoying & a damned liar, so what if someone wants to call her out on it. 

        • mikemc1970

          Listen if you want to play high and mighty, that’s fine. Just remember her side won’t. Liberals are sniveling cowards who can’t win elections without hiding their real agendas and mud raking over their opponents.

          I don’t like that politics has devolved into this, but the only way to make any real progress back to the way it was is to win and the only way to win is by playing the hand you’ve been dealt. In the end it is the politician with the least amount of accumulated filth on them that gets elected. I didn’t make the rules, I’m just following them.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I 100% agree with this.  Heitkamp’s looks, etc. have nothing to do with her candidacy.

  • Michael Lang

    Why is this ugly sow even running, she is going to be crushed in November.

  • Jack Daniels

    There’s the liberal versus conservative point of view.  Conservative:  All money belongs to the person who earned it and is taken away via taxes.  Liberal:  All money is subject to government confiscation, so if whatever the government lets you keep is a “give away”.  What a moron!!  If Heidi’s honest comments don’t scare you, you’re a socialist.

  • Econwarrior

    When did we elect Jimmy Buffet to rule us?

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    Of course the irony is Warren Buffett owes a ton of unpaid back taxes-more than many of us will earn in gross income in our cummulative lifetimes.

    AND, I’m quite certain neither Mr. Buffett or BHO voluntarily send in more money to the Treasury than their tax returns say they owe; even though nothing prohibits it.

    Finally of course, the whole “Buffett rule” idea is utter B.S. as it’s based on apples-to-oranges comparisons.  Capital gains vs. income taxes.  Apples and oranges.

    Oh BTW-Buffett’s secretary pays the income tax rates she does because she is phenominally well paid-hardly put upon.  And good for her.  But to hold her forth as a victim is pure sophistry.

  • Sparkie Arbuckle

    Keep jocking the Ryan budget.  Who needs old voters or women voters?  F*ck it, right?