Obama's middle-class tax pledge headed under the bus

One of Barack Obama’s often repeated promises made on the campaign trail was that he would not raise taxes on the midddle class:

“I can make a firm pledge,” he said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12. “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.”

He repeatedly vowed “you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime.”

Some Obama critics have charged that by signing a law last spring that raised the tobacco tax nearly 62 cents on a pack of cigarettes, the president broke his promise. That tax hits the middle-class and the poor especially hard since most smokers fall in one of those categories. Obama apologists argued that the number of smokers is rapidly declining, and the tax only falls on those who engage in a practice which harms themselves, so it really doesn’t affect the majority of the middle class.

Let’s see them spin their way out of this one:

The White House seems to be retreating from President Barack Obama’s campaign promise that he would not raise taxes on families making less than $250,000.

Under persistent questioning from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod declined to restate the vow and left open the possibility that the president might sign health care reform legislation that taxes high-cost, employer-provided insurance plans which some middle-class families currently receive tax free.

ABC “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos:

I pressed Axelrod on whether Obama will draw a line in the sand and veto any bill that funds health care reform with tax hikes for people making under $250,000 a year — despite a pledge Barack Obama made during the 2008 presidential campaign not to raise taxes on the poor and middle-class.

“One of the problems we’ve had in this town is that people draw lines in the sand and they stop talking to each other. And you don’t get anything done. That’s not the way the president approaches us. He is very cognizant of protecting people — middle class people, hard-working people who are trying to get along in a very difficult economy. And he will continue to represent them in these talks,” Axelrod said.

“But they’re also dealing with punishing health care costs, and that’s something that we have to deal with.”

Translation: Obama lied.

As Jim Geraghty so presciently observed back in November:

All Barack Obama Statements Come With an Expiration Date. All Of Them.

Translation: He lies.

After all, he won. In the view of the Obama apologists, his election victory was a mandate to urinate on the legs of all Americans and tell them that it’s raining.

– JP