Obama’s pledge not to raise income taxes on average Americans evokes former president George H.W. Bush’s “no new taxes” pledge during the 1988 presidential campaign. Bush’s decision to break that pledge was politically damaging and likely contributed to his 1992 election defeat. That damage occurred even though, as in the case of Obama, most Americans expected during the early part of Bush’s presidency that he would not be able to avoid raising taxes. Thus, Bush appears to have been harmed not by his decision to raise taxes as much as by his not being able to live up to his campaign pledge.