Obama's plan also relies on a false premise--that, especially after Bush's tax cuts, rich Americans are under taxed as compared with middle and lower income groups or in comparison with the wealthy in Europe. In reality, OECD numbers say otherwise, as the Tax Foundation details:
[A] new study on inequality by researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris reveals that when it comes to household taxes (income taxes and employee social security contributions) the U.S. "has the most progressive tax system and collects the largest share of taxes from the richest 10% of the population." . . . [T]he U.S. tax system is far more progressive—meaning pro-poor—than similar systems in countries most Americans identify with high taxes, such as France and Sweden.TigerHawk asks "How progressive do we have to get?" Punishing--just ask the New York Times.
Even after accounting for the fact that the top 10 percent of households in the U.S. have one of the highest shares of market income among OECD nations, our tax system is second only to Ireland in terms of its progressivity for households.
[Also,] the U.S. collects more household tax revenue from the top 10 percent of households than any other country and extracts the most from that income group relative to their share of the nation's income.