It would certainly be difficult to build up much sympathy for the super-rich, but the Obama administration launched one of the purest class warfare volleys over the weekend that I've seen. On Sunday, the Obama Truth Team tweeted this:
Note that the usual hackneyed phrase "millionaires and billionaires" has been truncated to "ask billionaires to pay their fair share." According to a Wall Street Journal article in June 2011, the number of millionaires in the U.S. was about 3.1 million at last count. On the other hand, billionaires in the U.S. total only 425 according to Forbes latest list. Due to the lack of details provided by the Truth Team, I must assume the billionaire tax is the Cadillac version of the Buffett Rule. But according to a March report in the Huffington Post, the Buffet Rule including millionaires would only bring in $31 - $47 billion in new tax revenue over the next decade, in other words, only $3.1 to $4.7 billion per year. Exclude those relatively destitute millionaires (it takes 1,000 millionaires to make a billionaire) from the pool and the new revenue could easily drop to $1 billion per year.
The Truth Team's phrasing ("automatic defense cuts could be prevented if House Republicans dropped their refusal...") sounds somewhat magical, as if their single action would break a spell. However, a less charitable interpretation is that the Obama administration is holding the Pentagon budget hostage unless the Republicans agree to shake down 425 American citizens. For a measly $1 billion in tax revenue, the White House threatens $56.5 billion in additional cuts to the defense budget. The Democrats have often resorted to class warfare to advance their policies, but threatening America's ability to wage real war certainly raises the tactic to a whole new level.