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

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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