If anyone harbors the misguided notion that President Obama is as interested in creating wealth as he is in spreading it, the Wall Street Journal has an illuminating editorial today:

Forget Warren Buffett, or whatever other political prop the White House wants to use for its tax agenda. This week the Administration officially endorsed what in essence is the Obama Rule: Taxes must be high simply to spread the wealth, never mind the impact on the economy or government revenue. It's all about "fairness," baby.

The administration has announced that it will raise the tax burden to 30 percent on anyone making $1 million or more, even though their own statistics show that this will raise only $5 billion a year in revenue. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus explains what this will and won’t accomplish:

The Buffett Rule won’t balance the budget. It won’t prevent a debt crisis. It won’t help the economy. It won’t get you a job.

But contrary to Obama’s rhetoric, it was never meant to.

For Barack Obama, the Buffett Tax (it’s a tax, plain and simple) has one goal: to divide and distract America. He wants to divide the electorate with class warfare to distract us from his failed policies. This is how desperate he is to win reelection. This is how little he thinks of the American voter.

Mr. Priebus is being too kind: I think that President Obama believes in the so-called Buffett Rule, whether it is politically expedient or not. Spreading wealth is at the heart of his political philosophy. Dividing the citizenry is just a nice little extra.

Needless to say, the Buffett Rule won’t affect me, but it is nevertheless highly disturbing: there is behind this extreme taxation an underlying notion that what citizens earn isn’t really theirs; the government is entitled to whatever it wants and it decides how much the mere earner (or, yes, inheritor) gets to control. If you are extremely successful, then your money—especially, your money—doesn’t really belong to you, in this view.

Interestingly, by making the tax burden more onerous to the very rich, the government will increase its own power. The Wall Street Journal notes:

The Buffett tax would only make loopholes more valuable. The White House has already carved out one exception to its own Buffett rule: charitable donations. So a billionaire could avoid the 30% effective tax rate by giving away millions of dollars—say, the way Mitt Romney so generously does.

Want to guess how long it will take for the suits on K Street to get busy trying to reinsert tax breaks for "investments" in the likes of municipal bonds, mortgages, energy-efficient toasters, windmills or by Chuck Schumer's hedge-fund buddies?

The century-long history of the federal income tax teaches us one lesson over and over: The higher the tax rates, the more loopholes Congress inserts as a way around those rates. This is why the government collected roughly as much tax revenue as a share of GDP when the top tax rate was 70% in the 1970s as it did when the rate fell to 28% in 1986.

The other thing to note is that the Buffett Rule is that, in addition to not raising significant revenue for our increasingly rapacious government, is is likely to further suppress job creation. What’s fair about that?