"And 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."
–Barack Obama, Sept. 12, 2008, Dover, New Hampshire
Barack Obama isn't the first politician to break a promise, torture the truth or outright lie to the American people. But, he certainly is among the most accomplished at it.
Obama made his no-new-taxes pledge over and over again four years ago as he campaigned. Not only has he repeatedly and blatantly violated it, but his policies have relentlessly assaulted poor and middle-income family budgets.
During his weekly address on Dec. 11, 2010, the President falsely implied that Republicans were willing to let the current tax rates expire (aka: the Bush Tax Cuts). Pretending to be mortified, Obama said that would cost middle-class tax payers an extra $3,000. "That's unacceptable to me," he claimed. That would be wrong because "taking money out of the pockets of working people is exactly the wrong thing to do to get our economy growing again."
Obama not only falsely represented the Republican position – as usual – he shamelessly pretended that he was The One "fighting so hard to cut middle-class taxes." Baloney!
First, the fight wasn't over whether to maintain the current tax rates, it was because Obama wanted a tax increase on higher income earners. Something the GOP rightfully refused to consider, particularly in the middle of a deep recession.
Second, if stopping government from "taking money out of the pockets of working people" was so important to Obama, he's done a miserable job of doing it. Whether the family budget is drained from government taxes, fees, penalties or failed policies doesn't make a lot of difference. Government under Barack Obama keeps costing families more and there is a whole lot less than there used to be to take care of necessities.
Let's examine the record.
Obama broke his no-new-taxes pledge 15 days after he took office when he signed legislation on Feb. 4, 2009 raising the tax on cigarettes 158 percent - 62 cents per pack. Arguably, there are good reasons to discourage smoking. But, undeniably this tax not only applies to all classes of income, it is extremely regressive and impacts the poor the hardest.