Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is Barack Obama Breaking His Campaign Promises on Tax Cuts?

With many House Democrats feeling their President sold them out on tax cuts, we wonder how far President Obama has strayed from his campaign promises.

I guess that depends on what you heard him promise. But if you go to his 2008 campaign website and look at the bullet points, it appears that he is mostly keeping his promises.

Middle class families will see their taxes cut – and no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.That's true, the Bush tax cuts will be continued for the middle class folks, and they also will get 2% cut off their social security taxes.
Families making more than $250,000 will pay either the same or lower tax rates than they paid in the 1990s.That's true too, their taxes will go down. And if you read the fine print, it says "Obama will ask the wealthiest 2% of families to give back a portion of the tax cuts they have received over the past eight years to ensure we are restoring fairness and returning to fiscal responsibility." He asked, they said no.
Obama’s plan will cut taxes overall, reducing revenues to below the levels that prevailed under Ronald Reagan (less than 18.2 percent of GDP).That's at least partly true, taxes will be cut overall, whether to the levels of Ronald Reagan is hard to say. The fine print on this one is not true: "Coupled with his commitment to cut unnecessary spending, Obama will pay for this tax relief while bringing down the budget deficit." Of course, Obama can say he still has the committment, just as soon as we get out of the Great Recession.

For some Democrats, especially pundits and politicians on the left, the most important part of his campaign promise was to let Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire. Still, for many Democratic voters, getting middle class tax cuts for themselves was the important part of the promise. And the tax cut deal keeps that promise.

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