Obama tossing middle income earners to tax wolves

Dropping pledge to impose no new levies on those making $250,000 or less

Posted: June 30, 2009
10:03 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

The administration of President Barack Obama apparently is trashing his oft-repeated campaign promise that middle income Americans with annual paychecks of $250,000 or less would see no tax increases under his administration.

There are the coming new energy taxes under cap-and-trade that likely will hit every American resident, plans for taxes on health benefits and a wide range of other proposals being developed. The results are that even mainstream reporters have begun grilling Obama's spokesman, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, on the issue.

According to White House transcripts, for two days in a row he's been asked what's going on, prompting one blogger to defend him: "What's he supposed to say? Obama pounded McCain for wanting to pay for health care by taxing benefits, rode into D.C. promising Change, and now he's … reversing himself because it turns out personal charisma doesn't work on hard economic numbers."

The first round of questions to Gibbs took place yesterday: ... r_embedded

The exchange took place like this:

Question: Yesterday on ABC, David Axelrod was asked repeatedly about whether the president would veto any health reform bill that has a tax on people making – a tax increase on anybody making under $250,000 per year. So I want to give you a chance, as well. … Will the president veto – will the president veto any health bill that has a tax…"

Gibbs: You know, here's what – I think we get this question once a week, in some form or another. I think in many ways, Ed, what marks the difference between this health care effort and other health care efforts in the past is exactly what the president described – a very large table with people sitting at it, trying to solve a problem that we've been working on for 40 years.

The good news is we're making significant progress, and all those people are still sitting at the table. We haven't drawn a lot of bright lines. We understand there's some flexibility on the part of Congress to work through some of these policy issues. And we're going to allow that process to continue to make – that process to continue in order to make progress.

Question: That may be true, but the president on the campaign said that – he made a flat pledge that he would not raise taxes on anybody making under $250,000. So is that pledge still operable?

Gibbs: Well, again, I think in some ways your question is hypothetical because there are any number of different bills, different proposals. I think the president has outlined what he believes is the very best way to pay for health care.

Question: It doesn't have to be hypothetical. He made a pledge…"

Gibbs: I understand.

Question: … he said, I am not going to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000. Is that pledge still active?

Gibbs responded without a direct answer:

"We are going to let the process work its way through," he said. "We're going to let the process work its way through. All right?"

The focus then turned to the specific campaign promise.

"There's nothing hypothetical about reaffirming a campaign promise," said one reporter.

Only 24 hours later, the grilling resumed.

Question: In the president's remarks last night to the National Finance Committee he talked about why Americans are still skeptical of change. And he said that Americans had been promised legislation, most of which has been a bait-and-switch – they had been promised one thing, they had gotten something else. So by opening the door to taxing Americans who are earning less than $250,000 – how is that not a bait-and-switch? How is that not what we've seen…

Gibbs: Because that was all about Ed doing a story yesterday afternoon on the lawn of the White House.

Question: Now I'm doing a story.

Gibbs: Well, there you go. Look, I'll do the same song and dance I did yesterday: I appreciate the opportunity to comment on what's in the final product of a bill that you all keep reminding me we don't have a final product for. So when we get closer to some of that…

Question: But…

Gibbs: No, look, I'll do this part again, too: I think the president has outlined the best way forward in paying for this. I've been asked – hold on, hold on – I've been asked this – maybe I'll ask somebody to find this out at the end of this briefing – over the past 10 weeks, the same question probably every week for those 10 weeks.

The president has laid out what he believes is the best way to pay for health care. It's consistent with everything that he said in the campaign. The president has also said that we're early in this process and he's going to watch what happens in Congress. And as I said yesterday, I think what has marked efforts in the past to achieve big reform like is necessary to bring under control the cost of health care is bright lines that cause people to leave the table. Everybody is still at the table. Everybody is still talking to each other in an effort to move health care reform forward, to do so in a way that's consistent with our principles and our values. And that's what the president is most focused on.

Question: Well, how does that not result in the bait-and-switch that he criticized last night?

Gibbs: How does what not result?

Question: A different end result than what he had originally promised.

Gibbs: And what end result is that?

Question: Taxing people who earn less than $250,000 a year.

Gibbs promised regarding taxes that the president will watch the process, "be flexible, and we'll evaluate it as we go along."

The campaign promise and the current statements recall memories of George H.W. Bush's slogan, "Read my lips. No new taxes," which he broke, triggering outrage among his supporters and glee among his critics.

WND previously reported on a long list of campaign promises that Obama apparently had broken before his first 100 days in office were concluded.

That report documented how as a candidate, he promised to allow public comment before signing bills, eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses, provide tax credits to businesses for hiring new employees, allow Americans to withdraw funds from 401(k) and retirement accounts without penalties, ban lobbyists from serving in his administration, reform earmarks, bring all combat troops home from Iraq in 16 months, sign the "Freedom of Choice Act," give Americans $4,000 in credits for college and run a "transparent" administration. ... eId=102711