President Barack Obama is now attempting to alter the terms of his central campaign promise – a pledge that families making less than $250,000 per year will not see “any form of tax increase”
Obama now claims his pledge only applied to income taxes, as evidenced by this excerpt from his most recent weekly radio address:
“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.”
Obama broke his “any form of tax increase” pledge when he signed the healthcare bill, which contained seven tax hikes that unquestionably hit some families making less than $250,000 per year.
This is not the first time the White House has attempted to dodge the “any form of tax increase” pledge.
On April 1, 2009, when Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press (“Promises, Promises: “Obama Tax Pledge Up in Smoke”) pointed out that Obama’s increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco violated the pledge, White House spokesman Reid H. 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.” [Permalink]
Compare that to Obama’s central campaign 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]
Exactly one year ago, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked if Obama’s pledge applies “to the health care bill”. Gibbs replied:
“The statement didn’t come with caveats.” (White House Briefing) [Transcript]
The White House has some explaining to do.