Everytime I hear the President talk about rich people paying "their fair share" of taxes, I can't help but think that many American voters – like me – will be less concerned with what percentage of his taxes Warren Buffett pays and more concerned about economic opportunities for low-wage, young, or inexperienced workers.
The President almost talked about the difficulty facing young people in today's job market. He discussed the challenge of affording a college education, and said many college grads face another problem… I thought he'd say unemployment… but he said possible deportation because they are not U.S. citizens.
Of course the President doesn't want to acknowledge that young people are struggling to get and maintain jobs in a still unfriendly job market. He'll talk about protecting young people from increases in interest on student loans, but his economic policies really offer no hope for the income that's needed for youths to pay those loans off. Slow hiring is the root of the problem.
What could spur hiring? Well, not jacking up tax rates for millionaires. Even if the Warren Buffetts of the world won't be hurt by higher taxes, there are many business owners in the U.S. who earn more than $250,000 a year (or there are small businesses who file in this individual income tax category) who will be affected by a tax hike meant for "the wealthiest Americans." We don't need any more money being transferred from the private sector to the public sector, regardless of who pays it. This creates inefficiencies that hurt the economy, much to the disappointment of many of the young voters who put Obama in office.
Also, the President put forth some really bad math on tax reform. He said when millionaires don't pay their fair share that either 1) the deficit increases or 2) someone else has to pay for it. The deficit only increases when government spending is higher than revenues. And when that happens, yes, someone else will pay for it, and it will be America's youth.