Asked on NBC’s Today show July 20 whether he would support a tax increase to pay for his healthcare package, Obama replied:
What I’ve said is, and I have stuck to this claim, I don’t want to see additional tax burdens on people making $250,000 a year or less. By the way, despite all the hue and cry out there about how Obama has becoming a tax-and-spend Democrat. This is what you hear from the Republicans. The only tax change I’ve made in the six months since I’ve been here is to cut people’s taxes.
Obama was referring to his explicit pledge at a campaign stop in Dover, New Hampshire on September 11, 2008 that "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."
But the truth is that Obama has pushed several tax increases upon the poor and middle class as president, one of which he signed on February 4. Obama signed the Children’s Health Care legislation on February 4, which doubled the federal tax on tobacco. Demographic surveys indicate that smokers largely come from lower income earners.
President Obama has also pushed an $840 billion tax increase in the form of American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, currently under consideration by Congress. While that bill has yet to reach his desk, Obama himself says the bill would “skyrocket” the utility bills of all Americans (see video here).
Since honesty seems to be in short supply in the Obama White House, Obama's latest pledge not to raise taxes on middle class Americans to pay for his healthcare package should be viewed with suspicion at best.