Americans for Tax Reform today released the following:
Appearing Sunday on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, President Obama’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod refused to confirm that Obama’s central campaign promise not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 was still in effect. Given three consecutive opportunities to confirm the promise, Axelrod waffled each time.
After being pressed for the third time, Axelrod stated: “One of the problems we've had in this town is that people draw lines in the sand and they stop talking to each other. And you don't get anything done.”
But a bright line in the sand is exactly what Obama drew repeatedly during his campaign:
“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.” (Barack Obama, September 12, 2008, Dover, NH) [Transcript] [Video clip]
Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist said Obama is using Axelrod to “soften us up” for a tax hike:
“Axelrod was saying on national television that he believes Obama lied his way into office. Here you have one of Obama’s closest advisors saying he believes Obama’s central campaign promise was nothing but a lie. Obama is sending Axelrod out in an attempt to soften us up for a pledge breaking tax hike.”
If Obama signs legislation taxing health care benefits, it would not be the first time he has broken his tax pledge. Obama previously broke his pledge on just the sixteenth day of his presidency when he signed into law a 156 percent increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco, a hike of 61 cents per pack, which took effect on April 1. The tax increase falls squarely on the shoulders of the middle- and low-income Americans Obama said he would not raise taxes on.