Hillary Already Planning to Break Her Middle Class Tax Pledge

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Posted by John Kartch on Monday, December 7th, 2015, 12:15 PM PERMALINK

In recent weeks Hillary Clinton has been touting her pledge to not raise taxes on any American making less than $250,000. But she is already laying the groundwork to break that pledge, just like President Obama did with his own $250,000 pledge.

During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, Hillary reduced the pledge to a mere “goal.” Here’s the key exchange with host George Stephanopoulos:

Stephanopoulos: “You are also saying no tax increases at all on anyone earning $250,000. Is that a rock solid read-my-lips promise?”

Clinton: “Well, it certainly is my goal. And I’ve laid it out in this campaign. And it’s something that President Obama promised. It’s something my husband certainly tried to achieve. Because I want Americans to know that I get it.”

“She’s up front saying ‘I’m going to lie my way into office,’” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

In addition to reducing the pledge to a “goal” Clinton referenced two presidents – Obama and Clinton – who raised taxes on the very people they promised to spare.

As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama made the same promise. Speaking in Dover, New Hampshire on Sept. 12, 2008, Obama said:

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family makingless 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.” [Video]

In an address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama restated the promise in forceful terms:

“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] [Video]

But Obama broke that promise. He signed into law eight tax increases that directly hit Americans making less than $250,000 per year. There are seven tax increases in Obamacare that are in violation of his pledge, such as the individual mandate non-compliance tax; an income tax hike on those with high medical bills; tax hikes on flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts; and even a 10 percent “indoor tanning tax.” Combined, these tax increases target tens of millions of Americans.

Obama first broke his pledge on the sixteenth day of his presidency, when he raised taxes on cigarettes. At the time, the median income of smokers was less than $40,000. The Associated Press rightly called out Obama for the broken promise in a national piece titled “Promises, Promises: Obama Tax Pledge Up in Smoke.”

Hillary’s husband Bill raised the gas tax, steeply increasing the tax burden on millions of middle income Americans.

“Hillary just told us that her pledge is really just a tactic to try and win the election, not a principle with which to govern,” said Grover Norquist.

[See Also: Hillary on New 25% National Gun Tax: “I am all for that.”]