Hope and Change: Obama open to tax hikes on middle class

posted at 4:37 pm on February 11, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Jim Geraghty says that the expiration dates come too fast and furious to keep pace these days, but this one’s a doozy.  After having insisted all along that anyone suggesting his economic policies would require middle-class tax hikes was deliberately lying, Obama suddenly proclaims himself an “agnostic” on whether imposing higher taxes on people earning under $250,000 will be necessary:

President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.

Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases and cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

“The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table,” the president said in the interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”

Obama repeatedly vowed during the 2008 presidential election campaign that he would not raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 and households earning less than $250,000 a year. When senior White House economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner suggested in August that the administration might be open to going back on that pledge, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs quickly reiterated the president’s promise.

We don’t need to go to Robert Gibbs to get the lowdown on Obama’s pledge. Obama made his “firm pledge” crystal clear in 2008 on the campaign trail:

“No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase. … not any of your taxes.”

What changed? Obama’s economic policies have had the effect that we predicted they would during the campaign. The White House sees trillion-plus budget deficits for most of the next ten years, thanks to massively expanding federal budgets and the drag they put on economic growth. Either Obama has to drastically reduce federal spending and the intrusion it creates in American lives, or he has to hike taxes in a broad manner to generate enough income to offset the spending. Taxing just the upper 5% isn’t an option.

Unfortunately, neither is reining in a federal budget that Democrats have already increased over a trillion dollars since taking control of Congress in 2006. They seem incapable of cutting spending, or even halting the increase of spending. Instead, they will suck more capital out of the private sector as they create a massive nanny-state system that has already failed in Europe.

Obama fooled middle-class voters into supporting him in 2008 with this pledge. Once it expires, he’s left with nothing but the reality of being another Leftist idealogue with a penchant for top-down government control.

Update: This is definitely related — my old friend Jonathan Last looks at whether Obama has a problem with blue-collar voters.


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Comments

“So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”

Who in the Sam Hill talks like that? Using a noun as a verb doesn’t hide the fact that Barack Obama told a boldface lie to the American people just so he could transform America into a steaming pile of socialism!

redwhiteblue on February 11, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I guess the thought of slashing spending never occurred to those smart people in Washington.

Thunderstorm129 on February 11, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Finally I understand the significance of the faux Greek columns at his acceptance speech at the convention in August. His aspiration for America is that it be just like Greece – insolvent.

ProfessorMiao on February 11, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Other breaking news: Biden takes credit for liberated Iraq. Geez.

peski on February 11, 2010 at 6:03 PM

AACCCCKKK! He probably said it without the bat of an eye too. Liars, they elected a couple of liars.

scalleywag on February 11, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Obama told a boldface lie to the American people just so he could transform America into a steaming pile of socialism!

redwhiteblue on February 11, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Yes, and now he seeks to have the Republicnas share the blame for the tax increases he promised he wouldn’t make.

ProfessorMiao on February 11, 2010 at 6:13 PM

You people are jackals. Can’t the man just eat his waffle? Jeez.

Travis Bickle on February 11, 2010 at 6:14 PM

I guess the thought of slashing spending never occurred to those smart people in Washington.

Thunderstorm129 on February 11, 2010 at 6:10 PM

That will be the very last thing they do.

scalleywag on February 11, 2010 at 6:15 PM

What does “agnostic” mean? This thug is truly an effing “R” word and I don’t mean Republican.

highhopes on February 11, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Reprobate? :)

citrus on February 11, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Color me shocked.

nico on February 11, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Obama open to tax hikes on middle class

Hell yeah, he is! The middle class has to be destroyed, it’s part of the big plan. You can’t have people who are capable of supporting themselves and making their own decisions – you need to bring them to governmental heel.

There aren’t enough rich people to present a problem for the statist, so the middle class is the BIG problem they have to deal with.

disa on February 11, 2010 at 6:20 PM

agnostic:

ag-nos-tic n. One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

Thank you, dictionary.com for this, er, insight.

LEBA on February 11, 2010 at 6:21 PM

I got out the union where I work because it supported Obama in 2008. The local USW even used the union hall for a phone bank for Obama’s campaign. It seems the majority of those who are in the union do not like President Obama and if they voted for him in 2008 they will not in 2012.

Blue Collar Todd on February 11, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Obama…the agnostic placating profligate president. Who lies.

scalleywag on February 11, 2010 at 6:23 PM

What’s wrong w/you imbeciles? He has to raise taxes b/c he inherited the worst economic crisis EVAH! Not even the Great Depression was as bad as this! Sheesh! I mean, he said he wouldn’t raise them, but that was b4 THIS happened. I can’t believe you guys are gettin’ all over him when it is so obvious that BUSH did this. Bush is the one that is making the ONE raise taxes! Cooommmmeee on! /

JAM on February 11, 2010 at 6:25 PM

The agnostic ideologue. Aren’t leftists fun!

rrpjr on February 11, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Another pretty strong indication that USA bought the ol’ bait and switch.

obleo on February 11, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Agnostic? I guess I could work that word into conversation someday.

obleo on February 11, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Lou Dobbs is pwning the anointed on the radio. What does he say to Obama, “you can have the hind side”? Does that mean what i think it does? Snort

tom0508 on February 11, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Obama said during his campaign for President in 2008:

“What I’ve said is I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans…”

“And 95 percent of working families, 95 percent of you out there, will get a tax cut. ..”

“Number one, I want to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans.”

So……is it 95% of working Americans, or 95% of working families, or 95% of Americans will get a tax cut??????

Oh, sorry…this thread is talking about Obama being agnostic on tax hikes …sorry, wrong thread…does anyone know where I can find the thread on tax hikes???…can’t seem to find it…

AceR on February 11, 2010 at 6:36 PM

it is easy to have such a cynical strategy with the Poodle Press as cheerleaders.

Increase the size of government, then say woops, you guys now have to pay for it.

But there are more subtle points. Lump in the Soc Security/Medicare issues into the debt problem.

Soc Security is itself a relatively minor problem, and very fixable. But will be slashed so that Dems can give the money to other people.

Medicare is more difficult, but the whole of the healthcare problem is fixable. But that’s not what the Dems want. They want to slash healthcare (and medicare especially). That frees up more money for other people.

SS/Medicare comprise the large majority of government spending. Slashing benes in these two areas will enable the Dems to move to from a “pass thru” to a much larger role in wealth redistribution.

Hiring workers, creating baseline incomes for poor people, active management of industry etc. Takes Lots of money, and Government Employees.

So when the Obama’s both say change is difficult, they mean it. Their vision will require a few “bumps” along the way.

r keller on February 11, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Change is not difficult. Everything in Comrade 0bama’s world will change in November 2010. He wants change….he’ll get change…believe in it!

joe btfsplk on February 11, 2010 at 6:51 PM

The use of the word “agnostic” by Obama shows he thinks most of the American people are too dumb to get what he is saying at his level of intellect, i.e., sod you, you suckers.

Dhuka on February 11, 2010 at 7:14 PM

I wonder what George H W Bush is thinking about all this?

karl9000 on February 11, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Do i detect the odor of burning trousers?

Mason on February 11, 2010 at 8:06 PM

The fact is that given Obama’s spending plans, tax increases on nearly everyone were entirely predictable and unavoidable. The American people really should have known better.

Phil Byler on February 11, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Like most of us here didn’t know it would come to this… Hope the rest of America wakes up.

WhoU4 on February 11, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Lying liars and the lies they tell.

HAnthonyWayne on February 11, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Gee…hope they do another approval rating, I bet it will soar.

And by-the-by, most of us on this blog could have shared this information in 2008. Oh wait. We tried. They wouldn’t listen.

Yellowdog12 on February 11, 2010 at 10:46 PM

“So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic ass-hatted, in terms of solutions.”

I eagerly await word from all the middle class imbeciles who voted fot The Won thinking that tax hikes were not going to be imposed on them.

ya2daup on February 12, 2010 at 12:55 AM

“Our real problem is not the spike in spending last year, or the lost, even the lost revenues last year, as significant as those are,” he said. “The real problem has to do with the fact that there is a just a mismatch between the amount of money coming in and the amount of money going out. And that is going to require some big, tough choices that, so far, the political system has been unable to deal with.”

Obamateurism material?

It’s not because we’re spending more. It’s not because we’re receiving less. It’s because our spending and revenues are mismatched. Got it?

Dumbest President in history.

Dumbest supporters in history.

MNHawk on February 12, 2010 at 7:02 AM

Agnostic? Didn’t our boy genius mean Ambivalent? I suppose we should all be grateful he didn’t say Ambidextrous. Could you imagine the hyperventilating we’d see in the MSM if George Bush used the wrong word? The spittle would be flying off the lips of ole Leg Tingler and Keith Ubermein.

olesparkie on February 12, 2010 at 7:41 AM

Just more lips moving = lying.

TrickyDick on February 12, 2010 at 8:28 AM

He is soooo “one term.”

Oink on February 12, 2010 at 8:49 AM

He seems to be spending his credibility faster than he’s spending other people’s money.

He might want to think ahead a little bit. It’s going to be a long three years for him.

Dorvillian on February 12, 2010 at 8:55 AM

“agnostic”…..you know, one of those words that professors use when they don’t want the “uneducated class” to know what they are talking about…

PatriotRider on February 12, 2010 at 10:33 AM

A caller to Limbaugh pointed out that the Latin translation of the greek word “agnostic” is “ignoramus”.

hawksruleva on February 12, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Don’t we have enough on this guy yet to impeach him?

jediwebdude on February 12, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Obama fooled middle-class voters into supporting him…

He fooled only those who wanted to be fooled.

Most of us here at HA knew better and saw this coming as you said.

Yakko77 on February 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM

He is soooo “one term.”

Oink on February 12, 2010 at 8:49 AM

I put nothing past his ego but I’m to the point where I’d bet real money he doesn’t even run for re-election.

Yakko77 on February 12, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Of course he’s open to it. I’m positive that if you went through every statement he made while campaigning, every single promise he made, he’s broken every one, with the exception being the ones that haven’t come up yet. Give it a little more time, he’ll break those too.

4shoes on February 12, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Obama and the media fooled middle-class voters into supporting him…

Mild ftfy…without his giant cheerleading squad, Oh-wrong-a would still be an unknown token boy voting “present”.

Dark-Star on February 12, 2010 at 12:06 PM

I’m late to the thread, but my first thought was that The One is floating this as a viable idea to get the right worked-up. He actually won’t raise middle class taxes so that, come election time, he can say “see, you were trying to smear me and call me a liar, but I am honest and awesome etc.”

Hunt035 on February 12, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Ernesto not available for comment in this thread. Amazing! Where’s your “Obama isnt raising anyones taxes!” argument now? (as if it werent a total fallacy before)

Kelligan on February 12, 2010 at 1:58 PM

“I didn’t want to raise your taxes; the budget commission made me.” (Agnostic: “I didn’t know they were gonna.”)

Barnestormer on February 12, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Barry post-presidential career is running a three card monte stand at the street corner. And there are always enough dumb libs ready to play.

bayview on February 13, 2010 at 9:14 PM