Two things I really liked off the bat is one his taking on the filibuster with the idea of maybe eliminating it for Supreme Court nominees.
The other thing I really liked was that the effective tax rate for the wealthy should be 30%. Of course I don't get how that fits in with the proposals that have been made by Simpson-Bowles, et al. which he has at least at times seemed to sign off on that calls for lowering the taxes both on corporations and the top rate into the 20s.
Even if you get away with every single "loophole" known to man for the rich I still don't see how you lower the tax rate from 35% to 26 and somehow it will give you an effective 30% rate because you have eliminated loopholes.
But the thought is right and it gives Americans-who want the rich to pay higher taxes; including in this group is even the richest Americans, Buffett and Gates-incidentally I was watching a little about Gates tonight, it's amazing how much good he has done in the world over the last 13 years or so.
I don't care if he has become such a philanthropist to counter the negative public image he had at the time of the anti trust suit in the late 90s. If he has whipped some chronic problems in India, it makes no difference to the Indian people who have benefited what his initial motivation was.
Of course there is no way for Obama to raise taxes on the rich-unless the political groundswell became irresistible perhaps. But Americans clearly can see that only the election of Democrats in November gives them any chance of seeing their wishes carried out.
What strikes me is that to have an effective 30% rate on the wealthy it can be achieved in one of two ways. Either raising the nominal rate of 35% considerably or eliminating every loophole in the world for the rich. Historically it seems that effective tax rate for the wealthy is almost exactly one half of the nominal tax rate. Which in that even would call for a 60% rate.
If it can be achieved at a lower rate you then would have to close all loopholes for real. One thing that could be done to do a lot to move the needle would be to simply tax dividends and capital gains at the same rate as income.
Really that would do a lot towards satisfying the Buffett Rule.