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White House Admits Middle Class May Pay More in Taxes

August 03, 2009

Two senior officials made startling admissions on yesterday’s Sunday talk shows — the President may increase taxes on the middle class. This despite the President’s own promise:

“I can make a firm pledge. 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.” 
 Then-Senator Obama, Sept. 12, 2008 in Dover, N.H.

Here’s how ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos described his August 2 interview with Treasury Secretary Geithner:

“To get the economy back on track, will President Barack Obama have to break his pledge not to raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans? In a “This Week” exclusive, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told me, “We’re going to have to do what’s necessary.”  Geithner was clear that he believes a key component of economic recovery is deficit reduction. When I gave him several opportunities to rule out a middle class tax hike, he wouldn’t do it.  “We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically,” Geithner told me. “And that’s going to require some very hard choices.”
ABC News, “This Week,” August 2, 2009, “Geithner Won’t Rule Out New Taxes for Middle Class

White House Economic Advisor Lawrence Summers seconded that “middle class tax hikes” were not “ruled out”:

“There is a lot, though, there is a lot that can happen over time….It’s never a good idea to absolutely rule things out no matter what.”
CBS News, “Face the Nation,” August 2, 2009. “Larry Summers: Tax Increase Possible

These yet-to-be-determined middle class tax hikes would fall on top of the tax hikes President Obama and Congressional Democrats have already enacted or passed through the House or the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

In the Administration’s first six months in office, Democrats have enacted or proposed tax hikes on health care, energy, cigarettes, and even savings – all affecting Americans earning under $250,000 and all violating the President’s campaign pledge.

Click on chart to enlarge