Obama to debt commission: Feel free to break my tax pledge
During his campaign, President Obama made a “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said the pledge “didn’t come with caveats.”
Yet President Obama told the leaders of his debt commission that “everything is on the table”.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, debt commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles had the following exchange with host Chris Wallace:
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: Mr. Bowles, Barack Obama — I don't have to tell you — campaigned in 2008 for president on a flat pledge that he would not raise any taxes — not income taxes, not any taxes — on people making less than $250,000 a year. Do you feel bound by the president's pledge?
ERSKINE BOWLES, DEBT COMMISSION CO-CHAIRMAN:What I feel bound by is the president looked Senator Simpson and me in the eye and he said, everything is on the table.
Bowles also refused to rule out a Value-Added Tax. The Bowles statements may explain Obama’s recent attempts to alter the terms of his central campaign promise. Twice this month, Obama has claimed his middle class tax pledge only applied 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.”
The two recent statements stand in stark contrast to Obama’s 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]
President on taxes: I had hoped to invest in your future..without asking more of you..but I can't
“I had hoped to invest in your future by creating jobs, expanding education, reforming healthcare and reducing the debt without asking more of you. And I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life to meet that goal. But I can’t, because the deficit has increased so much, beyond my earlier estimates and beyond even the worst official government estimates from last year.”
Obama floats a VAT: <br> Admission explains attempt to alter tax pledge
President Obama made it official today : He is open to the imposition of a Value-Added Tax (VAT) on the American people. A VAT would violate Obama’s central campaign promise – a “firm pledge” that no family making less than $250,000 per year would see “any form of tax increase”.
White House economic advisor refuses to rule out a VAT
NYT: Obama's economic team already calculating VAT revenue
President Barack Obama’s economic team is already calculating government revenues from a possible Value Added Tax (VAT), according to the New York Times.
Obama Attempts to Alter the Terms of his Broken Tax Pledge
Moment of Truth for<br> Senate Dems on Obama Tax Pledge
A moment of truth has arrived for Senate Democrats as today they will decide whether or not healthcare reform will continue to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year.
Baucus admits ObamaCare breaks Obama tax pledge
Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has admitted that some Americans making less than $200,000 per year will face tax hikes under ObamaCare. Such tax hikes are a violation of President Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on those making less than $250,000 per year.
Obama's "firm pledge" on Taxes is Anything But
President Barack Obama’s central campaign promise – a “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year – is about to be shattered when Obama signs the healthcare bill into law. The bill contains seven tax hikes that unquestionably violate Obama’s pledge.
“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.” [Transcript]
“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.” (Associated Press interview) [Permalink]
April 15, 2009: President Obama repeats his pledge:
“We've made a clear promise that families that earn less than $250,000 a year will not see their taxes increase by a single dime. And we have kept to those promises that were made during the campaign.” [Transcript]
April 15, 2009: During a White House press briefing, when challenged as to how Obama’s tax pledge squares with his tax hike on tobacco, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs replies:
“People make a decision to smoke.” [Transcript]
April 15, 2009: Moments later, when asked if Obama’s tax pledge applies “to the health care bill”, Gibbs replies:
“The statement didn’t come with caveats.” (White House Briefing) [Transcript]
June 28, 2009: When challenged on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos as to whether Obama’s tax pledge applies to healthcare reform, White House Advisor David Axelrod refuses three times to affirm the pledge and replies:
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