A continuing pattern of deception makes a mockery of Obama’s campaign promises and his attacks on opponents.
When he was asking for our vote in 2008, then candidate Barack Obama most famously promised the American people:
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. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” [Emphasis added]
He didn’t just make that pledge once or twice. He promised it to the American people over and over, making it the centerpiece of his campaign.
His now enacted health care takeover bill directly violates that pledge. If you do not obtain the health insurance that Obama and Congressional Democrats now demand by law, either through your employer or directly yourself, then you must pay a new 2.5% income tax, or a minimum of $695 per person up to $2,085 per family. This applies to everyone making less than $250,000 per year as well as those making more than $250,000 per year. It cannot be logically denied that this violates a pledge not to impose any form of tax increase on such workers, though President Obama has, indeed, tried to so deny it.
But it gets worse. Because you don’t really avoid an effective tax increase by buying the required health insurance. Even with the budget crushing new entitlement subsidies in Obamacare, the mandated health insurance, with all of the required politically correct benefits and subject to highly expensive giveaway regulation, will be quite expensive, ranging up to 2% of income for people at 133% of poverty to 9.8% of income for people at 400% of poverty. That is like a new payroll tax, and everyone making less than 400% of poverty is making less than $250,000 per year.
But the pattern gets even worse. The above quoted pledge came right after an attack by Obama on his then GOP opponent John McCain for proposing to tax the Cadillac health plans of all workers, including those making less than $250,000 a year. Obama said then, “The better your health care plan, the harder you fought for your good benefits, the higher the taxes you’ll pay under John McCain’s plan.” But the health care legislation President Obama just signed taxes precisely the Cadillac health plans of workers making below $250,000 per year, as well as those making above $250,000, albeit after 2018.
The last time a President so blatantly violated a similar pledge was during the Administration of the first President Bush. After campaigning and winning in 1988 on a pledge of “Read my lips, no new taxes,” he broke that pledge in agreeing to the 1990 budget deal. The public rightly voted him out of office in the next election, because if a candidate once elected can so blatantly violate what he campaigned on, then we have lost our democracy, as there is then no way to express the will of the people among different policy choices.
President Obama owes John McCain an apology, not to mention the American people. But he owes one to Hillary Clinton too. During the Democrat primary battle, Obama attacked Hillary for supporting an individual mandate forcing people to buy the health insurance the government specifies. But the health care legislation he just signed includes precisely such a mandate.
The pattern goes all the way back to Barack Obama’s first appearance on the national stage, at the 2004 Democrat national convention. There he trumpeted as a central theme a call for a new era of post-partisanship, or bipartisan cooperation. He continued promoting that popular theme right through the 2008 election.
But since the election, what has been bipartisan? He laughed Republicans out of the room during the stimulus debate, saying “I won the election.” His Cap and Trade energy tax proposal squeaked through the House on a virtual party line vote, with no concessions to Republicans. Congressional Democrats locked Republicans out of health care deliberations, and then passed the legislation on a total party line vote in both houses, without a concession sufficient to win a single Republican vote. And so it has gone on every issue.
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