Pres. Obama Was Against Tax Increases Before He was For Them

by Kathleen McKinley | July 11, 2011 3:00 pm

I was able to keep up on news of the debt talks while I was away. I am simply amazed at what the media lets Obama get away with. You may have noticed the new talking point of the President is tax hikes for “corporate jet owners.” He said it seven times in a recent speech. Why seven times? To make sure it was included in any sound bite the media used. Obama knows as well as most, that you can tax “corporate jet owners” 100% and it won’t bring down our debt or do anything to reduce our spending. Everything you hear from Obama now is about re-election. He just wants the spin out there that he is fighting for the “little guy” by trying to stick it to the rich. Obama insists that tax increases on the rich be a part of debt talks, but Speaker John Boehner says that taxing the job creators in this country during a recession is just plain stupid. And it is. Which is the reason the Democrats didn’t propose raising taxes on the rich when they had control of the Senate, House, and the White House. Now, they say Republicans are against these tax increases when in truth, they didn’t do it either when they had the chance. In fact, Obama admitted in 2009 that taxing the wealthy in a recession is not a good idea[1]: (emphasis mine)

In August 2009, on a visit to Elkhart, Indiana to tout his stimulus plan, Obama sat down for an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, and was conveyed a simple request from Elkhart resident Scott Ferguson: “Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy.”

Obama agreed with Ferguson’s premise — raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. “First of all, he’s right. Normally, you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we’ve instead cut taxes. So I guess what I’d say to Scott is — his economics are right. You don’t raise taxes in a recession. We haven’t raised taxes in a recession.”

Todd reminded Obama that he had promised to raise taxes on “some of the wealthiest” Americans.

Obama responded by reiterating his opposition to tax hikes during a recession and making an argument about timing. “We have not proposed a tax hike for the wealthy that would take effect in the middle of a recession. Even the proposals that have come out of Congress — which by the way were different from the proposals I put forward — still wouldn’t kick in until after the recession was over. So he’s absolutely right, the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up — take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole.”

Did you read that last line? Raising taxes is the LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO in the middle of a recession. But now, all the sudden, Obama thinks it’s a good idea. The only reason he says this now is to appeal to his base. He knows the GOP will not allow tax increases, so he knows it won’t happen and the consequences of it, which, as Obama said, would “put business further in the hole,” will never happen. So, Obama knows that he can say he tried. He can say he tried to fight those evil Republicans, when he himself actually agrees with them. He just has to put on this show.

And, of course, the media lets him get away with it.

No budget deal? Blame Obama, not Boehner[2].

Sen. Pat Toomey has it right[3]:

I support raising the debt limit provided the increase is accompanied by serious spending cuts and structural spending reforms – such as spending caps and a balanced budget amendment. I have always acknowledged that a delay in raising the debt limit would cause a disruptive, partial government shutdown, which is best avoided. However, a disruptive shutdown is not the same as a catastrophic default.

And there is something worse than a temporary disruption of some government services. That is signaling to the world that we lack the political courage to correct the biggest challenge facing our nation today: our unsustainable deficits.

The most irresponsible thing Congress could do is to continue on the reckless path of excessive borrowing and spending. Since the administration shows no interest in curbing its spending appetite willingly, we should force the concessions by making our support for a higher debt limit contingent on restoring fiscal prudence. We do not have the luxury of postponing the tough choices for another day.

  1. In fact, Obama admitted in 2009 that taxing the wealthy in a recession is not a good idea:
  2. No budget deal? Blame Obama, not Boehner:
  3. Sen. Pat Toomey has it right:

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