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The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove reports on Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag’s latest effort in the administration’s ongoing project of incrementally undermining Obama’s campaign trail promise not to raise taxes on citizens making less than $250,000 a year. Orszag is now claiming that Obama’s promise was not a promise so much as a “stance” or “preference”:
This morning at a Manhattan breakfast sponsored by Thomson Reuters, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag threw that pledge out the window. Instead, he described Obama’s “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge as a “stance” and a “preference” that is subject to study by the president’s newly formed bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.
“The president has been very clear about what he prefers,” Orszag said under questioning from Thomson Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland. “That was his stance during the campaign, and he still believes that’s the right course forward. But he has also been very clear that we shall let the commission go do its work.”
Orszag is right that the president has “been very clear” in the sense that he said the words “let me be clear” very frequently. But it was in connection with the categorical statement, frequently repeated, that his administration would not raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 per year and that furthermore he would deliver net spending and tax cuts.
It is not believable that the deficit commission will exclude broad-based tax increases from their recommendations. Obama and company know this, obviously, so it would be nice if they simply owned up to their backsliding and ended this useless and embarrassing shell game. The fact that Obama made those outrageously unachievable campaign promises about what could deliver while cutting spending and taxes is far more offensive than the fact that he is now breaking them.