Promises, Promises: Obama’s Ever Evolving Pledge Not To Raise Taxes On People Making Less Than $250,000 A Year In Quotes

Barack Obama is being smeared by baseless claims that he would dramatically raise marginal tax rates to levels not seen since the 1970s, or impose new taxes on everything from your child’s education fund to your water. These tired attacks are patently false and have been repeatedly debunked by independent fact check organizations. Below are 6 key facts about the Obama tax plan that help set the record straight:

FACT #1: The Obama Plan Provides Generous Tax Cuts for Almost All American Families — and will not raise any tax rate on families making less than $250,000 per year, period! The Obama plan maintains the existing marginal tax rates for every family making less than $250,000 — and single people making less than $200,000–while offering thousands of dollars in new tax cuts for saving, education, mortgage costs, and childcare, as well as up to $1000 per family to make work pay. Under the Obama plan, the typical family will pay tax rates that are 20% lower than they faced under President Reagan. Any and all charges that Obama would raise rates on capital gains, dividends, income, savings and so on for the approximately 98% of American families making less than $250,000 are simply not true. — Barack Obama’s campaign website

McCAIN: He wants to raise taxes. Sen. Obama’s secret that you don’t know is that his tax increases will increase taxes on 50% of small business revenue. Small businesses across America will have to cut jobs and will have their taxes increase and won’t be able to hire because of Sen. Obama’s tax policies.

OBAMA: I want to provide a tax cut for 95% of Americans. If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down. — Oct 7, 2008

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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. — September 12, 2008

This week Congress plans to vote on a bill that would dramatically raise the federal cigarette tax and use the money to fund an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Congress approved similar bills in 2007 and 2008, but they were vetoed by President Bush in one of the few decisions he made during eight years in office that were both courageous and consistent with limited-government principles. (His attempts at Social Security and immigration reform are the two others that spring to mind; perhaps you can think of more.) Barack Obama, who will be president next week, is expected to sign the SCHIP bill, despite his avowed reluctance to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. — January 12, 2009

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama will not raise taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000 a year, even as the nation’s budget deficit has surged beyond $1 trillion, a problem that policy makers agree has to eventually be wrestled under control to ensure future economic growth.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama promised not to raise taxes on middle class Americans — and he intends to keep that pledge, Gibbs said. “The president’s clear commitment is not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year,” he said. — August 3, 2009

Grappling to contain record deficits, President Barack Obama is seeking to end a middle-class tax break he once said would be permanent.

The $3.8 trillion budget request rolled out by the White House on Monday would renew the Making Work Pay tax credit for fiscal 2011, but then would have it sunset.

That’s a switch from last year, when Obama’s budget called for making the tax credit permanent. — February 1, 2010

Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes – in 2019 alone – due to healthcare reform, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official scorekeeper.

…President Barack Obama in his Saturday radio address said the healthcare law keeps his campaign pledge to not raise taxes on the middle class. In his bid for the White House, he promised that individuals earning less than $200,000 and joint filers earning less than $250,000 would not see a tax increase under his watch. — April 12, 2010

The White House several times this week refused to rule out support for a value added tax (VAT)–a tax that all American consumers would pay but not directly see because it would applied to items at every stage of production. Such a tax would affect purchasers of all income levels by making the goods they buy more expensive and increasing the cost of living in the United States across the board.

Obama himself–in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday — refused to rule out a VAT:

“I know that there’s been a lot of talk around town lately about the value-added tax,” Obama told CNBC’s John Harwood. “That is something that has worked for some countries, and something that would be novel for the United States, and before I start saying, ‘This makes sense or that makes sense,’ I want to get a better picture of what our options are.” — April 22, 2010

Democrats are looking at the possibility of raising taxes on families below the $250,000-a-year threshold promised by President Barack Obama during the election.

The majority party on Capitol Hill does not feel bound by that pledge, saying the threshold for tax hikes will depend on several factors, such as the revenue differences between setting the threshold at $200,000 and setting it at $250,000.

“You could go lower, too – why not $200,000?” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “With the debt and deficit we have, you can’t make promises to people. This is a very serious situation.”

Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, concurred, saying, “I don’t think there’s any magic in the number, whether it’s $250,000, $200,000 or $225,000. — Jun 22, 2010

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