I have warned you about the Wordsmith-in-Chief. You have to listen very carefully.
In his interview with Bill O’Reilly just before the Superbowl, Obama said (via TaxProf)(emphasis mine):
O’REILLY: Do you deny that you are a man who wants to redistribute wealth.
O’REILLY: You deny that?
OBAMA: Absolutely. I didn’t raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years.I lowered taxes for the last two years.”
But as the links at TaxProf show, in fact Obama has raised taxes more than once so I guess that technically he was correct in saying he didn’t raise taxes once. From The Wall Street Journal:
… perhaps Mr. Obama has forgotten some of his tax achievements. Allow us to refresh his memory. In his historic health-care bill, for example, there is the new $27 billion “fee” on drug companies that is already in effect. Next year, device manufacturers will get hit to the tune of $20 billion, and heath insurers will pay $60 billion starting in 2014—all of which are de facto tax increases because these collections will be passed on to consumers as higher costs. Of course, these are merely tax increases on business.
As for tax increases on individuals, perhaps he forgot the health-care bill’s new 0.9 percentage point increase in the Medicare payroll tax for families making over $250,000 and singles over $200,000. That tax increase takes effect in 2013, as will the application of what will be a 3.8% Medicare surtax (up from 2.9% today) to “unearned income” for the first time. This is a tax hike on investment and interest income, which will reduce the incentive to save and invest.
The normally Obama-compliant Politifact also points out:
The idea that Obama did not raise taxes is just plain wrong. He signed legislation raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products soon after taking office; that money goes to pay for children’s health insurance programs. The law went into effect in 2009. He also signed the health care law, which includes taxes on indoor tanning that went into effect last year.
And of course, none of this even includes the taxes Obama would have imposed if he could have, such as cap-and-tax.
But the damage is done to the truth in the public eye. Tens of millions saw the interview, a small fraction will read The Wall Street Journal, and even more minute fraction will read this blog.
Perhaps Joe Wilson should have conducted the interview.
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