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Obama Floats Another Middle Class Tax Hike Trial Balloon

August 25, 2009

Facing ever larger deficits as the result of massive federal spending and the failure of the President’s stimulus plan to meet its stated goals, the White House again admitted today that the President may increase taxes on middle class families starting next year. 

While President Obama had previously called for extending Republican-enacted tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000, the Washington Post is reporting that, “in light of the new deficit figures, [OMB Director Peter] Orszag hinted that Obama may revisit some of those decisions when he submits his next budget in February.”

This, however, is not the first time in recent weeks the Obama Administration has called for higher taxes on middle class families.  Two senior White House officials issued similar tax hike warnings during interviews on Sunday talk shows earlier this month.

Clearly President Obama is very different from candidate Obama.  Candidate Obama stated, “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 in a speech on September 12, 2008, in Dover, N.H.) 

In fact, however, 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.

Among the Republican-enacted tax relief provisions set to expire in 2010 that Candidate Obama pledged to extend but that may now be allowed to lapse are: a larger child tax credit, a lessening of the marriage penalty, and reduced income tax rates for anyone who pays income taxes.  As the chart below shows, if the President back-tracks on his pledge, families will pay thousands of dollars more per year in federal income taxes.

So much for campaign promises.