Great news: Obama “firm pledge” on taxes now a “preference”

posted at 12:15 pm on May 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Peter Orszag delivered the change in nomenclature on Barack Obama’s tax policy to a group of reporters at a Thomson Reuters breakfast yesterday, and the Daily Beast’s LLoyd Grove couldn’t quite believe his ears. He pressed the OMB Director for clarification, and got more obfuscation instead (via Instapundit):

Remember President Obama’s supposedly inviolable pledge—repeatedly uttered during the 2008 campaign and at countless town meetings since the inauguration—that he would never raise taxes on middle-class citizens who earn $250,000 a year or less?

This morning at a Manhattan breakfast sponsored by Thomson Reuters, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag threw that pledge out the window. Instead, he described Obama’s “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge as a “stance” and a “preference” that is subject to study by the president’s newly formed bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

“The president has been very clear about what he prefers,” Orszag said under questioning from Thomson Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland. “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.”

Grove reminded Orszag of Obama’s promise, and Orszag accused Grove of playing a “game”:

Later on during the breakfast, Orszag resisted my attempts to pin him down when I asked if the White House could live with a tax increase on the middle class.

“No, I didn’t say that,” he answered. “What I did say is look, the typical thing that’s going to happen, and it’s already been happening, is everyone is going to come along with this idea—the value added tax, this thing under $250,000, Social Security, Medicare changes, what have you—and you’re looking for us to say no, yes, no, yes, no, yes—which will mean that the commission has absolutely nothing to talk about and nothing to do. The president has been very clear that we’re not going to play that game.”

Well, did Obama promise not to increase taxes on the middle class? During the campaign, John McCain hit Obama hard on the expensive agenda Obama was fronting, warning that Obama’s massive spending would require steep across-the-board tax hikes. In July 2008, Obama denied that it would cost the middle class anything at all:

And 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.

That’s not equivocal at all. Obama defended his high-spending agenda by promising that it wouldn’t cost the middle class an extra dime in taxes. Now that it’s getting implemented, suddenly talking about the potential for taxes is a “game” and is now the responsibility of an unelected, unaccountable commission, and not the responsibility of the man spending all the money.

That’s a game, all right — one we’ve seen from slick Washington politicians for decades.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Welcome to reality, 52%’ers, your stupidity and guilt are really paying off now.

Bishop on May 13, 2010 at 12:20 PM

No kidding Bishop. I’m really starting to lose patience with the unrepentant. Face it you 52s, ya got duped. Just admit it and and help us move on.

JusDreamin on May 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM

lying S.O.B. – I never thougth any different.

Onager on May 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Unexpectedl….well, not really.

Daggett on May 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Obuma is incapable of the truth. Anyone who believes anything he has said concerning the middle class is insane. Alinski, who Obuma is a follower, hated the middle class because they are a buffer between between the lower class and the upper class. The middle class must be reduced to the same level as the lower class in order to take what the lower class is entitled to from the rich.

volsense on May 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

No matter what modifier Obama puts on a statement, it is a lie.

Inanemergencydial on May 13, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Is Obama’s stance as wide as Larry Craig’s?

LASue on May 13, 2010 at 4:55 PM

During the campaign, John McCain hit Obama hard on the expensive agenda Obama was fronting, warning that Obama’s massive spending would require steep across-the-board tax hikes.

Thank you for reminding HAers that J-Mac did actually run a pretty good, hard-hitting campaign. Many of the commenters here think he was worse that Walter Mondale. With the GOP brand as unpopular as it was, it’s amazing that McCain did as well as he did.

itsnotaboutme on May 13, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Read my teleprompter: No New Taxes.

Right!

Dhuka on May 13, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Mr Hot-in-the-Pants Helmet Hair is also signalling that the commission is really there only to raise taxes. What cost cuts could possibly get passes with this bunch, at least until November?

JAW on May 13, 2010 at 5:49 PM

That’s not equivocal at all. Obama defended his high-spending agenda by promising that it wouldn’t cost the middle class an extra dime in taxes.

An Extra dime? No

Millions of Extra dimes? Yes!

DSchoen on May 13, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Transparency. Blue lips don’t lie.

BHO Jonestown on May 13, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Pitchforks.
Bring ‘em.

stevezilla on May 13, 2010 at 5:57 PM

For those who thought any different, shame on you.

rjoco1 on May 13, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Transparency. Blue lips don’t lie.

BHO Jonestown on May 13, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Careful there. HRH Allahpundit threatened to ban me for calling Barry that name. He accused me of being a racist. Let’s just hope that Ed is more understanding.

Mr. Grump on May 13, 2010 at 6:51 PM

The key line you missed:

Under my plan

What he will claim is this is not my plan. When he signs all the tax increases he will claim it was not my plan I had during the campaign, but I have to do it for the good of the country. :-)

JeffinSac on May 13, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Jim DeMint was wrong. Taxes will be Obama’s Waterloo.

Many people are still uninformed about the Obamacare debacle. About whether its passage hurt or helped him.

Raising taxes in a time like this?

Waterloo. Without a doubt.

Grace_is_sufficient on May 13, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Slipping past the expiration date.

Kissmygrits on May 13, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Taxes will be his waterloo in NH I think, don’t know about the rest of the country. Do not think he is doing that well here any way, but I have not seen any new polls. I do know that all the polls I have seen show Kelly Ayotte(R)(running for Gregg’s seat)ahead of Hodes(D) though.

jeanie on May 13, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Obama defended his high-spending agenda by promising that it wouldn’t cost the middle class an extra dime in taxes.

He was telling the truth it won’t cost an extra dime but it will cost an extra dollar or 10 or 100 or 1000 but not a dime.

chemman on May 13, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Everything coming out of any lefty’s mouth is by definition a lie.

madmonkphotog on May 13, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Speaking as a smoker who make a lot less than 250,000, I can tell you he has already broken that promise.

smokinjoe on May 13, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Presidential Oath:

I Pledge to Prefer to will appoint an un-elected independent commission to uphold the Constitution of These United States…

percysunshine on May 13, 2010 at 9:31 PM

WOW Eric Holder on Hannity just admits he has not read the AZ immigration law.

Can we survive these clowns stupidity. There is no authenticity to any of these lightweights, just class warfare and redistribution.

America has put in office the most incompetent, destructive fools ever in the history of this formerly great country!

Thankyou Democrats we will never forget. thank you unions never again will I buy your product if there is an alternative.

dhunter on May 13, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Stop the SPENDING. NOW!!

TN Mom on May 13, 2010 at 10:50 PM

But he has also been very clear that we shall let the commission go do its work.

Not a one of those elected to “represent” us in DC who deserve to stay there when they resort to ruses like this “commission” to provide a way to avoid being held accountable.

ya2daup on May 13, 2010 at 11:35 PM

All I can say, every time I see/hear Obummer speak, I either have to change the channel, or yell at the tv a childish phrase: Liar, Liar, pants on Fire!!!!!!!!!

Geesh. Bush 1 was massacred for breaking that pledge. Let’s hope America has not been so dumbed down by the libs in education over the past 20 years that they won’t remember this to vote his ass out of office in 2012.

karenhasfreedom on May 14, 2010 at 12:39 AM

When ever I heard him claim he would not raise taxes on the middle class, I shouted, “liar!”

Slowburn on May 14, 2010 at 9:42 AM

It’s hard to comprehend how low-life dishonest one has to be to claim Obama’s clear pledge (he even called it that) was only a “stance” or “preference”. There seems to be no honesty and hence no morality in the Obama administration. These are amoral creatures and they are scary. People who support such are also scary. His administration is a nightmare – a kind of political “Night of the Walking Dead” reality show with real zombies.

Chessplayer on May 14, 2010 at 9:47 PM

The Gulf is swirling with oil. Where’s our concert for the victims? Where’s our ‘We Are the World’ for the Southerners? Where is the ‘save the dolphins’ foundation?
Hurricane season is coming people. I cant fathom the disaster thats about to hit when an oily hurricane spins up down there. Florida is already scared beyond belief of whats to come. How about the Florida Keys? The Bahamas? Its all in jeopardy if that oil makes it out of the Gulf. ANyone care?

johnnyU on May 14, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Bend over middle class! Obama got something for ya!

MCGIRV on May 15, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Comment pages: 1 2