Peter Orszag: Obama's "firm pledge" on taxes is just a "preference" or "stance"


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, May 14th, 2010, 1:57 PM PERMALINK

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On April 27, President Obama issued a warning to anyone thinking about asking him about his “firm pledge” not to raise any form of taxes on those making less than $250,000:  if you ask about his pledge, you are playing “an old Washington game”.

Facing questions about Obama’s “firm pledge” on Wednesday, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag followed the example of his boss by characterizing questions about tax hikes on the middle class as a “game” and described Obama’s tax pledge as merely a “preference” or a “stance”.

Compare Obama’s original promise to Orszag’s comments:

“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.”– Candidate Barack Obama [Transcript] [Video]

“The president has been very clear about what he prefers.  That was his stance during the campaign, and he still believes that’s the right course forward. But he has also been very clear that we shall let the commission go do its work.” – Peter Orszag

Last year, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the pledge “didn’t come with caveats.” 

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