Obama: Read my lips … we’re not playing that Washington game

It’s not a game Mr. President. You flat-out promised no tax increases. Today during the opening ceremonies for the bi-partisan Debt Commission, President Obama, refused to rule out tax increases for families making less than $250,000. A VAT and other taxes are on the table.

Hat tip to John Kartch from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). Here is what Obama said today, with my emphasis in bold.

It’s important that we not restrict the review or the recommendations that this commission comes up with in any way. Everything has to be on the table. And I just met briefly with the commission and said the same thing to them. Of course this means that all of you, our friends in the media, will ask me and others once a week, or once a day, about what we are willing to rule out or rule in when it comes to the recommendations of the commission. That’s an old Washington game…so I wanted to deliver this message today: we’re not playing that game. I’m not gonna say what’s in, I’m not gonna say what’s out.

The president thinks asking him about his campaign promises is rude and not productive. It’s a Washington game. Obama is perfectly fine playing the say-what-you-have-to-say-to-get-votes political game when it comes to making promises about tax increases, but Heaven forbid you bring up those promises and ask if they have expired yet.

A reminder from the campaign trail…

[Obama] My plan – all together – is a net tax cut. My plan will cut taxes to a smaller share of the economy than they were under President Reagan. Under my plan, income taxes for typical American families will be the lowest that they’ve been in more than a half century. Everyone in America – everyone – will pay lower taxes than they would under the rates Bill Clinton had in the 1990s. And under my plan, middle class families will get three times as much relief as Senator McCain is offering. In fact, his plan gives absolutely nothing to over 100 million American households.

And I can make a firm pledge: under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase – not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.


But that’s not the only time the president has made a promise. ATR has been keeping track, and they have noticed the change in language from any of your taxes, to income taxes.

In his April 10 Weekly Radio Address, Obama said:

“And one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000.  That’s another promise we’ve kept.”

In a speech on the evening of April 15, Obama repeated the truncated promise:

“And one thing we haven’t done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year — another promise that we kept.”

The two recent statements stand in stark contrast to Obama’s original promise [above].

Last year, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the pledge “didn’t come with caveats.”

When the then-candidate made the pledge no taxes would be raised, some really thought he meant none of their taxes. What about property taxes, sales taxes, sewer use taxes, gas taxes, tolls, soda taxes and plastic bag taxes?

Even I will give him a pass on the none of your taxes pledge and assume he specifically meant federal taxes, but come on… Boy, do I see an even more complicated tax code in the future. What say you?

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on April 27, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Obama (and most other politicians) seem to have forgotten that a campaign promise is a PROMISE, and a man is only as good as his word.  These campaign promises are the bulk of the reason that politicians get elected, particularly in the case of Obama, inasmuch as the media had no interest in delving into his beliefs or history.  For him, the snake oil sales pitch was the ONLY reason he was elected.


    If we can't believe their promises before an election, there is no reason at all to believe any of them after the election.

  2. OkieJim on April 28, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Well, Dims, it's pretty simple. The man is a liar; worse, he's a liar with a secret agenda whose details are truly apocalyptic. We'll see how short or long memories are in the next couple of elections.

  3. GdavidH on April 28, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Useless, unqualified, SOUL-LESS, lying sack of marxist poo-poo, with nearly 50% of Americans buying into the <a href="mailto:s@$t" rel="nofollow">s@$t spread that he's putting on the <a href="mailto:s@$t" rel="nofollow">s@$t sandwich that he's forcing down our throats.

    OK… I feel better

    • Dimsdale on April 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      Hey!  Stop sugarcoating it!  Say what you mean!  😉

  4. PatRiot on April 28, 2010 at 7:17 am

    This is a big bump for Palin's  "So, how's that hopey, changey thing workin' out for ya?"

    I am sure the Tea Partiers will see a bump in numbers as well.

    To my liberal friends, it's gonna be really hard not to say "I told you so."

  5. porschepete on April 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    You can always know when politicians are lying

    their lips are moving. If they shut up and listen

    they might learn something.

  6. Dimsdale on April 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Clearly, Øbama plays the Chicago game, where you threaten or bribe people to get what you want.

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