Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) resumed his attacks on President Obama’s economic policy Sunday morning, suggesting that the President’s plan to tax millionaires’ profits from capital gains in order to fund job creation efforts constitutes “class warfare”:
RYAN: It adds further instability to our system — more uncertainty — and it punishes job creation and those people who create jobs. Class warfare, Chris, may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics. We don’t need to divide people and prey on people’s fear and envy and anxiety. We need to remove the barriers so entrepreneurs can hire people. These tax increases don’t work. [...]
This is a double tax… If we tax investment and tax more you will get less of it. It looks like to me not a very good sign. It looks like the President wants to move down the class warfare path. Class warfare will simply divide this country more, will attack job creators, divide people, and it doesn’t grow the economy.
Ironically, Ryan was simultaneously calling for an end to the current temporary tax cuts, which would raise taxes by 50 percent on those making less than $106,000. While launching accusations of “class warfare,” Ryan is the one who would prefer that people with less money pay more, while those with more money keep more.
As Warren Buffett pointed out last month, the mega-rich pay “practically nothing” in payroll taxes and instead pay far lower tax rates on passive investment income. Congress has “coddled” billionaires, Buffett argued, rather than calling on them for serious “shared sacrifice.”
Ryan is clearly attempting to paint the President as being responsible for the growing divide between the middle class and richest Americans. In reality, it’s House Republicans who are rejecting all of Obama’s plans to create and protect jobs for all Americans. If millionaires’ capital gains were the key to creating jobs, the jobs would exist by now.