Read Barack Obama’s lips — he won’t raise taxes on the middle class … except when he does, and he forgets about it. In an interview last week with Business Week, Obama insisted that he was not a business-hostile, tax-and-spend Democrat. In fact, Obama claimed he hasn’t signed a single bill that raised taxes (emphasis mine):
[Q:] A lot of business leaders consider you to be antibusiness. I was struck when I attended the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival. [Council of Economic Advisers member] Austan Goolsbee was speaking, and he hit a fairly hostile audience. These are wealthy, fairly progressive older people who had tended to support you, but they seemed very upset about corporate taxes, individual taxes, card check, all sorts of things you’re doing that they perceived as not helpful to them. What can you say to those people?
[A:] Let’s look at the record. I’ve been in office six months. So far my only tax policy has been to cut taxes for 95% of working people. I haven’t signed a bill that’s raised taxes yet. To the extent that we have put in place policies, they’ve all been directed at helping businesses.
That’s simply not true — nor has it been for six months. As the blog Hope and Fail points out, Obama signed the $33 billion expansion of S-CHIP on February 4th, two weeks after his inauguration. The S-CHIP expansion hiked taxes on cigarettes by 61 cents a pack, which certainly didn’t help businesses, including the tobacco industry or the retailers who sell their products. This tax hike hit lower-income families hardest, as sin taxes are notoriously regressive in impact.
Perhaps Obama just forgot about it. After all, with all the tax hikes we’ll be seeing, it will eventually be difficult to keep track which came first and when.
Addendum: Normally I’d put a link to Chris Muir’s Day by Day site here, but today I want to do more than that. Chris has a fundraising drive to keep his excellent cartoon alive. Be sure to drop a few dollars in his collection to keep one of the Rightosphere’s most talented warriors in the fight!