- The Washington Times - Monday, October 3, 2011

It’s not just the American people who are abandoning President Obama in droves. Polls show “The One” has become “Number Two” when matched up against Mr. Generic Republican. Now even Mr. Obama’s best friends are growing similarly uneasy with his policy proposals.

From the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, investor Warren Buffett abandoned the Obama administration’s storyline on the “Buffett Rule.” Mr. Obama had cited the Nebraska billionaire’s bogus tale about paying a higher tax rate than his personal secretary as an excuse to hike taxes on those earning as little as $200,000 a year.

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO said that such a broad levy wasn’t what he had in mind at all. “My program is to have a tax on ultra-rich people who are paying very low tax rate, not just all the rich people,” he explained. “And it would probably apply to 50,000 people in a population of 310 million.”

As Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, told The Washington Times, “The president has chosen a campaign strategy of class warfare rather than an economic strategy of job growth, and even some of the president’s biggest supporters are beginning to notice.”

Administration officials are now scrambling to save face. White House speechwriters quickly deleted all reference to Mr. Buffett from the president’s stump speech teleprompters. Previously, Mr. Obama had mentioned Mr. Buffett’s tax-rate claim in a dozen separate orations over less than three weeks.

Since Friday, however, the word “Buffett” was not heard in his radio address, at a chi-chi fundraising dinner party in Georgetown nor at the liberal Human Rights Campaign dinner.

The Buffett Tax was supposed to pay for the $467 billion “jobs” stimulus package, an effort that appears stalled. On Monday, Mr. Obama said at a Cabinet meeting that he was “insisting” congressional leaders bring his “jobs” bill up for a vote by the end of the month. “I want it back,” he said of the bill, “I’m ready to sign it.”

Hours later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, folded to White House pressure and said the bill will get a vote by the end of the month - even though his deputy, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat, admitted last week that he doesn’t currently have the 60 votes needed for passage.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, told The Washington Times, “The president doesn’t get it. He’s rolled out another stimulus that his own party won’t support and tax hikes that his own party has already rejected.” The Utah Republican said, “Crass class warfare, a refusal to reform our broken entitlements and tax hikes on job creators isn’t a solution to Washington’s spending problem.”

While the president can put demands on Congress and campaign around the country, he should realize the American people clearly don’t want tax hikes on investors and job creators as the economy plummets. Mr. Obama is doing everything to guarantee he doesn’t get another term in the Oval Office, but that doesn’t mean Democrats on Capitol Hill don’t want to keep their jobs.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.