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December 19, 2012

The Lie of the Year Should Be Obama’s Promise Not to Raise Taxes on the Middle Class

Posted in: Barack Obama

Obama Time

Politifact named Mitt Romney’s campaign ad about Jeeps being made in China their lie of the year. Given how provably false Romney’s ad was that is a decent choice, but in the grand scheme it seems President Obama’s promise not the raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 is far more deserving of that title. While Romney’s lie was a one off distortion, Obama’s soon-to-be-broken promise was the heart of his entire campaign.

For five years Obama repeatedly and unequivocal promised not the raise taxes by one penny on anyone making less than $250,000. He did so in ads, campaign stops, emails, and interviews. There is probably no other single policy proposal that was more central to both of Obama’s presidential campaigns. Millions likely voted for Obama based on this firm promise.

Yet even before Obama’s second term begins, he has rushed to break this campaign promise. Obama has pushed for a deficit deal that includes a switch to chained-CPI. Switching to a lower inflation measure would not only cut Social Security benefits, it would end up being a significant tax increase on the middle class by causing tax brackets to raise more slowly. While the tax increase would be very small at first, over the next decade it would mean the middle class will pay ten of billions more in taxes.

Obama was not forced by some extraordinary unforeseen event to accept this tax increase. Obama include this middle class tax increase in his counter offer. Obama didn’t need to do this, he chose to do it.

Right after Obama was re-elected, based on a promise not to raise taxes on the middle class, his first major action was to push for a middle class tax increase. This is a pathological level of dishonesty. The only thing more disturbing is the weak shoulder-shrugging response by most of the media to such a profound act of deception.

If the top elected official in America working to break his biggest campaign promise right after the election ends is not treated as a real scandal, we might as well put up a giant billboards all over Washington saying “politicians will never be held accountable.”


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