You might have seen today that President Obama is now officially "agnostic" about whether a bi-partisan tax increase/deficit commission should raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year. A few things here:
- This would directly contravene his campaign promise (repeated again and again throughout the campaign and during his first year in office) to not raise "any form" of taxes on these families, "not one dime." ATR has maintained a full database of this tax promise
- As Jim Pethokoukis of Reuters has pointed out, this could be a subtle signal that Obama is paving the way for a value-added tax (VAT). ATR maintains an Anti-VAT Congressional Caucus
- An agnostic is someone who lacks the conviction of either an atheist, or a believer. It seems pretty clear that President Obama is actually rather zealous in his faith that higher taxes across the board (including for non-affluent households) is the correct public policy goal.