Commentary Magazine


Topic: R. Donahue Peebles

Obama’s Tax Plan Irking Donors?

You don’t have to look far for the source of Obama’s fundraising problems. His class warfare strategy, attacks on Romney’s wealth and plan to raise taxes on people making over $250,000 a year isn’t the best bait to reel in big donors. Even one top Obama bundler, R. Donahue Peebles, is opening fire on Obama’s tax plan, according to the Huffington Post. Peebles says he still supports the president, but is sick of hearing that he doesn’t pay his fair share of taxes (h/t Washington Examiner):

“I’m so tired of hearing that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. Yeah we are,” Peebles said. “The super vast majority of wealthy Americans do not wake up every day and say, ‘Let’s see how we can pay less than our fair share of taxes.’ They say, ‘We’re going to follow the law and we’re going to hire some good accountants to tell us how to do it. And we’re going to pay no more or no less than our fair share.’

“So to say that wealthy individuals are not paying their fair is unfair and delusional,” he said. “So what should be said is that the wealthy Americans should have their tax rates raised because we need more money. Now by the way, if they got all these tax raises it still wouldn’t put a dent in the national debt.”

Is Peebles sure he still supports Obama? Judging from his comments, it’s hard to understand why.

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You don’t have to look far for the source of Obama’s fundraising problems. His class warfare strategy, attacks on Romney’s wealth and plan to raise taxes on people making over $250,000 a year isn’t the best bait to reel in big donors. Even one top Obama bundler, R. Donahue Peebles, is opening fire on Obama’s tax plan, according to the Huffington Post. Peebles says he still supports the president, but is sick of hearing that he doesn’t pay his fair share of taxes (h/t Washington Examiner):

“I’m so tired of hearing that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. Yeah we are,” Peebles said. “The super vast majority of wealthy Americans do not wake up every day and say, ‘Let’s see how we can pay less than our fair share of taxes.’ They say, ‘We’re going to follow the law and we’re going to hire some good accountants to tell us how to do it. And we’re going to pay no more or no less than our fair share.’

“So to say that wealthy individuals are not paying their fair is unfair and delusional,” he said. “So what should be said is that the wealthy Americans should have their tax rates raised because we need more money. Now by the way, if they got all these tax raises it still wouldn’t put a dent in the national debt.”

Is Peebles sure he still supports Obama? Judging from his comments, it’s hard to understand why.

The president has spent the last year promoting the “Buffet rule” and claiming that raising taxes on high earners is crucial for fairness and closing the deficit. If Peebles thinks both of those positions are “unfair and delusional,” why is he bundling money for the president in the first place?

It also makes you wonder how many 2008 Obama supporters feel the same way Peebles does, but are expressing their dissatisfaction by shutting their wallets instead of talking to the press:

“What I get concerned about is the message from the Obama campaign that we only want someone who has not been successful to run for president. What do we want here? You can’t be successful and run the country? We don’t want somebody who has been successful to run it? That doesn’t make sense,” Peebles said. “So I look at that and I see that those things are becoming offensive to some of his strongest supporters, financially.

“It would be unrealistic to think that that kind of thing would not impact the enthusiasm for those who are supportive of the president, financially, and certainly would turn off others who were on the fence to say, ‘You know, what the heck with it. I’m done,’” Peebles continued. “And they go on to Romney.

Even Senate Democrats can’t bring themselves to support the president’s tax plan, which is why they blocked a vote on it this week. If Obama can’t scrape together enough votes from his own party to pass his plan yet, he’s going to have a hard time convincing the donors who would actually get hit with the tax.

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