Obama's Big Lie On Taxes
National Issues: A large and ongoing problem with our public discourse is the dishonesty and disinformation foisted on an unsuspecting public. That's certainly the case when it comes to taxes.
Sometimes, politicians claim things that just make you turn your head and say, "huh?" That's what happened last Sunday when President Obama, in a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox TV's Bill O'Reilly, said the following:
"I didn't raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years. I lowered taxes for the last two years."
It was a great quote, very dramatic and emphatic. It was also quite wrong. Tax watchdog groups and think tanks have looked at the record and found just the opposite - that Obama has raised taxes numerous times, and that taxes did in fact rise during the first two years of his presidency.
Indeed, in 2009 one of the first things Obama did after entering office was to slap a 156% increase in the federal tax on tobacco - about 62 cents a pack - to pay for the children's health insurance program.
Whether you think this is a good idea or not, it is a tax.
Please recall the president's solemn promise in the 2008 campaign that families earning less than $250,000 a year wouldn't see "any form of tax increase." As Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) noted, the median income of smokers is "just over $36,000."
But the granddaddy of them all was the health care bill that the president signed into law last March.
ObamaCare, the Heritage Foundation calculates, "contains 18 separate tax increases that will cost taxpayers $503 billion between 2010 and 2019." And at least seven of those tax hikes are clear violations of the president's vow not to raise taxes on the middle class.
So the president not only raised taxes more than once, he raised them massively to help fund his unpopular takeover of health care.
In further assessing Obama's tax record, one also must look at intent. The White House and Democrats in Congress had explored the possibility of letting all the Bush tax cuts expire last year, which would have been a huge tax hike on all Americans.
During budget talks, they let it be known that "all things were on the table" - including tax hikes. But thanks to the Tea Party movement and the drubbing Democrats took in the midterm elections, all things are no longer on the table. If someone puts them there, they better start looking for another line of work.
That said, the president's claim that he's a net tax cutter is "blatantly false," according to ATR. "In fact," the group says, "Obama signed into law $7 in permanent tax hikes for every $1 in permanent cuts" during his first two years in office - a net tax hike of $618.7 billion.
Remember this the next time the media repeat their fib that this administration hasn't raised taxes. It has. And the prospect of more tax hikes to come is a big reason why the economy continues to underperform.