John Kartch

Deer in Headlights: Transcript and Video of Goolsbee Tax Denials


Posted by John Kartch on Monday, January 31st, 2011, 8:53 AM PERMALINK


(Click here to watch the YouTube of this exchange)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

House Ways& Means Committee

First Obamacare hearing of the 112th Congress

Transcript of exchange between Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers

Rep. Tiberi: Thank you mister chairman, Dr. Goolsbee the president repeatedly mentioned throughout the debate and afterwards that Americans making less than $200,000 or families earning less than $250,000 would not see their taxes increased with respect to the Democrat’s healthcare bill.

I’d like you to tell me whether each of the following, and a yes or no answer would suffice, that were included in the healthcare law constitutes an increase in taxes for individuals or families making less than $200,000 or $250,000.  A new tax on individuals who did not purchase government approved health insurance?

Austan Goolsbee: uh- I don’t think that’s an accurate way to describe it, no.

Tiberi: Not a new tax?

Goolsbee: I don’t think that’s an accurate way.

Tiberi: A new ban on the use of flexible savings accounts, HSAs, HRAs, on using pre-tax income to purchase over the counter drugs?

Goolsbee: uh I-I don’t, that’s not a tax increase of a normal form and that’s part of a broader reform effort obviously.

Tiberi: An increase from 7 and a half percent to 10 percent of income the threshold after which individuals can deduct out of pocket medical expenses?

Goolsbee: . . . (shakes his head)

Tiberi: Not a tax increase?

Goolsbee: uh, I, as I’m saying, the, I do not consider the affordable care act as a whole to be a tax increase on people less than $200,000.

Tiberi: There are two more. Impose a new $2500 cap on family’s ability to use pre-tax dollars to fund an FSA?

Goolsbee: I twen- could you—

Tiberi: $2500 cap on—

Goolsbee: $2500 cap; I don’t, I don’t consider that a tax increase.

Tiberi: A new ten percent tax on indoor tanning services?

Goolsbee: (chuckles) uh. . .

Tiberi: Not a tax increase?

Goolsbee: Well, that seems like a strictly voluntary, uh, thing that one could choose.

Tiberi: But not a tax increase?

Goolsbee: . . . (shrugs)

Tiberi: Here’s the point Dr. Goolsbee, we have, in this bill, and I’m quoting from the bill, a number of things that are, that’s going to impact people, individuals who make far less than $200,000. I had a lady contact me in December, who said she had just found out from her employer and her doctor, that she could no longer mange her kids’ healthcare costs with respect to prescription, with drugs, over the counter drugs and now she was going to have to contact the doctor every time she wanted to deduct something from her flexible savings account.

And had just found out in December, months after the healthcare bill was signed into law, that actually her tax was going to increase, her income tax was going to increase, because her FSA was going to go from $5000 to $2500 and thus her income was going to go up with respect to her taxes which means she was going to be paying more taxes. So two things were occurring in her mind as she had no idea with respect to the healthcare debate: that she was going to be paying more taxes and her ability to manage her healthcare was going to be taken away from her, that she was now going to have to call her physicians office which is going to make, ironically, the physician’s office more involved, not less involved and there’s a cost to that as well. So, I know you, you chuckle about this, but the President was very very firm in that nobody making less than $200,000 or families less than $200,000 would see income taxes go up any taxes go up; and now we see a Department of Justice, uh, defense that this bill is constitutional because it’s a tax, the individual mandate is a tax.

So on one side, we say it’s not a tax, or you say it’s not a tax, the administration, on the other side you say it is a tax, so, which is it?

Goolsbee: Well Congressman, first let me apologize—I was only chuckling about the tanning salons, I wasn’t meaning to make light of it. As I say, we are open to work—if we, if we look at the FSA rules all I would say on FSAs is: this was part of a broader, uh, package, that it’s not, picking out one thing in isolation and not taking into account other benefits. If you – if you are paying for something with a pay-for, but its going to reduce healthcare cost inflation or we’re going to get additional coverage that you didn’t have before; you, you do have to take it in totality before—

Tiberi: Here’s my point sir, I’m just saying, if you are telling the American people and the President’s telling the American people if I’m advising you and you repeatedly say it’s not a tax increase and Mrs. Smith, who sees her FSA go from $5000 to $2500 and now she can’t buy baby aspirin at the store and deduct it from her FSA. She looks at that as a tax increase, so there’s a credibility issue, and again, we can chuckle about it, but, this is a tax increase.

Goolsbee: I didn’t chuckle about it; I don’t mean to chuckle

Chairman Camp: If you could, just respond briefly then we’ll move on.

Goolsbee: My only brief response is, if it changes the FSA rule but simultaneously gives her a significant reduction in the cost of her healthcare; that should not be viewed as a tax increase on her. Even though, just looking at one component she would say, I had to, I had a disallowed expense on an FSA, but the point is, taken in totality, it’s not a tax increase.

Chairman Camp: Alright, thank you . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYDTPIkzOGg

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


All Candidates for RNC Chair Confirmed for Jan. 3 Debate


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010, 2:23 PM PERMALINK


All six of the declared candidates for the Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC) have confirmed their participation in the Monday, Jan. 3 debate hosted by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and The Daily Caller.  C-SPAN will be providing live coverage of the debate.

The 90-minute debate, moderated by Grover Norquist of ATR and Tucker Carlson of The Daily Caller, will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Ballroom of the National Press Club.  The event is co-sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List.

Members of the public are invited to visit the official debate website -- RNCdebate.org -- in order to submit and vote on questions they would like the candidates to answer. 

The event details are as follows:

Who:  Michael Steele, Saul Anuzis, Maria Cino, Gentry Collins, Reince Priebus, Ann Wagner

What:  Debate among candidates running for the Chairmanship of the RNC

When:   Monday, January 3, 2011; 1:00 pm – 2:30 p.m. ET.

Doors open:  Noon

Where:  National Press Club (529 14th St. NW), 13th Floor, Ballroom

Metro, driving directions, and parking information: Click here

RSVP Required:  debate@atr.org

Official Debate Website:  RNCdebate.org

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR to Host RNC Chairmanship Debate on January 3


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010, 10:40 AM PERMALINK


On Monday, January 3, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) will host a debate among candidates for the Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  The event will take place in the Ballroom of the National Press Club.

“The actual vote for RNC Chairman will be made by the 168 members of the Committee, but the impact will be felt by all.  Therefore, every activist should play a role in questioning the candidates and communicating with RNC members who cast votes...just like lobbying your Congressman and Senators.  We are working with bloggers and other activists to develop the questions to be asked during the forum, and we encourage everyone to visit RNCdebate.org in the coming days to submit and vote on questions,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.  “The event will be open to C-SPAN and streamed live at RNCdebate.org.”

ATR hosted a similar debate on January 5, 2009, drawing 600 attendees and 70 members of the media, including C-SPAN.  The dedicated website for the event – RNCdebate.org – allowed activists to propose and vote on debate questions.  The site drew 60,000 votes on 925 different questions.

The event details are as follows:

When:   Monday, January 3, 2011 from 1:00 pm – 2:30 p.m. ET

Where:  National Press Club (529 14th St. NW), 13th Floor, Ballroom

Top Comments


Gibbs Misleads Public on Obama's Broken Tax Pledge


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010, 6:35 PM PERMALINK


[Printable PDF]

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs seems to have forgotten that his boss has already broken his central campaign promise – a “firm pledge” that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

Responding to a question during his daily press briefing today, Gibbs said, “The President believes raising taxes on the middle class during this economic time would not make a lot of economic sense.” 

But President Obama has already broken his “firm pledge” at least eight times:

1.  Federal Tobacco Tax Hike:  On Feb. 4, 2009, just sixteen days into his presidency, Obama signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco– a hike of 62 cents per pack.  The median income of smokers is just over $36,000. 

When the tax took effect on April 1, 2009, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin tried to pull a fast one on Associated Press reporter Calvin Woodward.  Cherlin falsely claimed Obama’s tax pledge applied only to “income or payroll taxes”.  Cherlin said: "The president's position throughout the campaign was that he would not raise income or payroll taxes on families making less than $250,000, and that's a promise he has kept."  Woodward rightly wasn’t buying it (PROMISES, PROMISES:  Obama Tax Pledge Up In Smoke).

Tax Increases on families making less than $250,000 didn’t stop with tobacco.  Obama’s signature on the healthcare reform bill made possible the following tax increases – none of which exempt families making less than $250,000:

2.  The Tax on Indoor Tanning Services took effect July 1, 2010:  This provision of Obamacare imposes a new 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons.  The tax was tucked into the bill behind closed doors at the last minute, replacing the previous “Bo-Tax” – a proposed tax on plastic surgery.  The 30 million Americans who visit tanning facilities are getting a lesson in the petty, nanny-state nature of Obamacare – every time they walk through the door.  Not to mention the business owners and employees who are threatened by the tax. 

3.  The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” takes effect Jan. 1, 2011: Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

4. The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike takes effect Jan. 1, 2011: This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. 

5. TheSpecial Needs Kids Tax” takes effect Jan. 1, 2013:  This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit).  There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.  Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. 

6. The Obamacare Medical Prosthetics and Devices Tax takes effect in January of 2013: This Obamacare tax raises the price of all medical prosthetic devices, such as pacemakers and artificial limbs. Consumers of these devices will end up paying more for these life-saving items. 

7. The Medical Itemized Deductions Cap takes effect Jan. 1, 2013:  Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction if the total cost if the expenses reduces the filer’s income by 7.5%.  This provision of Obamacare imposes a threshold of 10%.  This new tax will most adversely affect early retirees and the catastrophically ill. 

8. The Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax takes effect Jan. 1, 2014: Anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following (page 71 of manager’s amendment updates Reid bill):

 

Single

2 People

3+ People

2014

$95/1.0% AGI

$190/1.0% AGI

$285/1.0% AGI

2015

$325/2.0% AGI

$650/2.0% AGI

$975/2.0% AGI

2016+

$695/2.5% AGI

$1390/2.0% AGI

$2085/2.5%/AGI

 

[Click here for a printable version of this document]

[See also:  Six Months to go Until the Largest Tax Hikes in History]

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Wounded Warriors Face New Tax This Independence Day


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Friday, July 2nd, 2010, 12:51 PM PERMALINK


[Printable PDF Version]

As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day with parades and barbecues, America’s veterans face a new tax on prosthetic limbs and other vital medical devices.

The health care overhaul passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama earlier this year contains a new tax on medical devices such as prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, and wheelchairs.  This tax, which its proponents claim will raise $20 billion over the next ten years, contains no exemption for the nation’s 22 million veterans.  In fact, Senate Democrats specifically refused to exempt veterans from the tax.

On March 24 2010, Senate Democrats rejected an amendment offered by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the healthcare bill.  This amendment (SA 3644) would have prevented the medical device tax from hitting veterans covered by the Veterans Healthcare Program or TRICARE for Life.  This amendment was rejected by a vote of 44-54.   All but five Democrat senators voted in favor of retaining the tax for veterans.

The medical device tax was one of over twenty new or higher taxes in President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul.  This permanent new tax is being collected now.

“On March 24, Senate Democrats had the opportunity to exempt our veterans from Obamacare’s new tax on medical devices such as prosthetic limbs.  But 54 Democrats voted against the measure.  They chose to side with the tax-and-spend crowd in Washington over our wounded warriors,”said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.  “This is one of the many reasons Harry Reid and the Democrats did not want Americans to read the 2,500 page health care bill before it was passed.”

In addition to those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports the following number of veterans from America’s wars:

World War II:             2,079,000

Korean War:              2,507,000

Vietnam War:            7,569,000

Desert Shield/Storm:   2,254,000

The following senators voted for the tax:

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Roland Burris (D-IL)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Edward Kaufman (D-DE)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joe Lieberman (ID-CT)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Arlen Specter (D-PA)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Wounded Warriors Face New Tax This<br> Independence Day


Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Friday, July 2nd, 2010, 12:00 PM PERMALINK


[Printable PDF Version]

As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day with parades and barbecues, America’s veterans face a new tax on prosthetic limbs and other vital medical devices.

The health care overhaul passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama earlier this year contains a new tax on medical devices such as prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, and wheelchairs.  This tax, which its proponents claim will raise $20 billion over the next ten years, contains no exemption for the nation’s 22 million veterans.  In fact, Senate Democrats specifically refused to exempt veterans from the tax.

On March 24 2010, Senate Democrats rejected an amendment offered by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the healthcare bill.  This amendment (SA 3644) would have prevented the medical device tax from hitting veterans covered by the Veterans Healthcare Program or TRICARE for Life.  This amendment was rejected by a vote of 44-54.   All but five Democrat senators voted in favor of retaining the tax for veterans.

The medical device tax was one of over twenty new or higher taxes in President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul.  This permanent new tax will be collected starting in 2013.

“On March 24, Senate Democrats had the opportunity to exempt our veterans from Obamacare’s new tax on medical devices such as prosthetic limbs.  But 54 Democrats voted against the measure.  They chose to side with the tax-and-spend crowd in Washington over our wounded warriors,”said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.  “This is one of the many reasons Harry Reid and the Democrats did not want Americans to read the 2,500 page health care bill before it was passed.”

In addition to those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports the following number of veterans from America’s wars:

World War II:             2,079,000

Korean War:              2,507,000

Vietnam War:            7,569,000

Desert Shield/Storm:   2,254,000

The following senators voted for the tax:

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Roland Burris (D-IL)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Edward Kaufman (D-DE)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joe Lieberman (ID-CT)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Arlen Specter (D-PA)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Norquist to testify before Obama fiscal commission


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010, 1:55 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist will testify before the Obama fiscal commission today between 3 - 4 pm Eastern Time. 

You may watch live below:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Obamacare's First Pledge-Breaking Tax Hike Takes Effect July 1


Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, June 24th, 2010, 12:48 PM PERMALINK


[PDF Version]

President Barack Obama has some explaining to do.  When he signed the healthcare bill into law, he formally broke his “firm pledge” to the American people that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” 

Among the twenty one tax hikes signed into law as part of Obamacare, at least seven directly break Obama’s central campaign promise.  The first of these tax hikes will take effect on July 1:  the excise tax on indoor tanning services -- a 10 percent tax on the retail price of a tanning session. 

Leaving no stone unturned in their petty hunt for tax revenue, Senate Democrats in December added the tax behind closed doors at the last minute.  There is no exemption made for families making less than $250,000 per year, thus violating Obama’s “firm pledge” to the American people.

Local news coverage from around the country has illustrated the paperwork and cost burden to salon owners, employees, and customers.  The owner of two salons in Virginia has this to say about the new tax:

“It is very emotional to see your dream being literally shattered by someone in Washington.”

Industry estimates from the Indoor Tanning Association show that 30 million Americans visit an indoor tanning facility in a given year, and over 50 percent of salon owners are women.

Obama first broke his tax pledge sixteen days into his presidency when he signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco.  At that time, Obama was rightly called out by Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press in a piece titled “Promises, Promises: Obama Tax Pledge Up in Smoke”

On April 15 of last year, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama’s tax pledge “didn’t come with caveats.”   And to this day, Obama’s promise remains for all to see at the Change.gov website: “no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.”

Twice during the month of April, however, Obama tried to amend the terms of his “firm pledge” by claiming his promise applies only to “income taxes” rather than “any form of taxes”.

In his April 10 Weekly Radio Address, Obama said:

“And one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000.  That’s another promise we’ve kept.”

In a speech on the evening of April 15, Obama repeated the truncated promise:

“And one thing we haven’t done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year -- another promise that we kept.”

Obama’s recent claims stand in stark contrast to his original promise:

“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (Dover, NH)  [Transcript] [Video]

What do you say, President Obama?

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Norquist Accepts Obama Fiscal Commission Co-Chair Alan Simpson's Invitation to Testify


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, June 11th, 2010, 1:18 PM PERMALINK


[PDF Version]

Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, the co-chairman of President Obama’s fiscal reform commission, has invited Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist to appear before the commission during its public hearing on the afternoon of June 30.  As reported in National Journal, Simpson said:

"We're notifying everybody in America, if you want to come in, don't come in to bitch. Come in and tell us what you would do to get where we are trying to get. We're going to sit here from 1 (p.m.), grab a sandwich, and go until midnight.I want to particularly ask Grover Norquist, what is it you want to do? Other than just raise money and get members, what have you got in mind to help America proceed, other than say anybody that talks about raising taxes will be cremated and crucified on a stake?"

Norquist accepts the invitation and has submitted application details per the Commission’s website, www.FiscalCommission.gov.

The Commission is formally known as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and will conclude its work no later than December 1.  Simpson serves as co-chairman along with Erskine Bowles, Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton.  Bruce Reed, Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton, serves as Executive Director.

The full list of Commissioners is as follows:


Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.)

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.)

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)

David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell International

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)

Ann Fudge, Former CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)

Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute and former Director, Office of Management & Budget

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.)

Andrew Stern, former President, Service Employees International Union

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


30 Days from Today: Obamacare's First Pledge-Breaking Tax Hike Takes Effect


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010, 2:27 PM PERMALINK


[PDF Version]

When President Barack Obama signed the healthcare bill into law, he formally broke his “firm pledge” to the American people that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” 

Among the twenty one tax hikes signed into law as part of Obamacare, at least seven directly break Obama’s central campaign promise.  The first of these tax hikes will take effect on July 1:  the excise tax on indoor tanning services -- a 10 percent tax on the retail price of a tanning session. 

Leaving no stone unturned in their petty, vindictive hunt for tax revenue, Obama and his congressional allies expect the tax to raise $2.7 billion over ten years.  There is no exemption made for families making less than $250,000 per year.

On April 15 of last year, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama’s tax pledge “didn’t come with caveats.”   And to this day, Obama’s promise remains for all to see at the Change.gov website: “no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.”

Twice during the month of April, however, Obama tried to amend the terms of his “firm pledge” by claiming his promise applies only to “income taxes” rather than “any form of taxes”.

In his April 10 Weekly Radio Address, Obama said:

“And one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000.  That’s another promise we’ve kept.”

In a speech on the evening of April 15, Obama repeated the truncated promise:

“And one thing we haven’t done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year -- another promise that we kept.”

Obama’s recent claims stand in stark contrast to his original promise:

“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (Dover, NH)  [Transcript] [Video]

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Pages

hidden