August 3rd, 2009
02:54 PM ET
9 years ago

White House steadfast on pledge of no middle-class tax increase

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House shot down concerns Monday that middle-class families may face a tax increase in order to combat rising deficits and a struggling economy.

"The president was clear during the campaign about his commitment on not raising taxes on middle-class families," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday afternoon. "I don't think any economist would believe that, in the environment that we're in, that raising taxes on middle-class families would make any sense."

The concern came after the Obama administration's two top money men floated the idea that tax increases to fund the nation's economic recovery could extend beyond the wealthiest Americans.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, said Sunday they could no longer guarantee the middle class will be spared a tax increase.

"We have to do what's necessary," Geithner said on ABC's "This Week." "The critical thing is people understand that when we have recovery established - led by the private sector - and we have to bring these deficits down very dramatically ... we have to bring them down to a level where the amount we're borrowing from the world is stable and at a reasonable level."

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Filed under: President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Lotta Muni

    Ha ha! That's rich coming from an administration which has outspent its predecessor's two terms within the first 6 months!! Answer will be to redefine middle class. People making $40-50K, get ready to be redifined as wealthy.

    August 3, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Although I take the President at his word of not raising taxes on the middle class, if my taxes need to be raised, then so be it. People thought that VP Biden made a gaffe when he made the comment about "paying taxes is patriotic,." NEWSFLASH: IT IS!

    August 3, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Tatianna

    Question: Who should be listed as the most expensive dependent on your tax return? Answer: President Obama

    August 3, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Reformed Republican

    Don't by this fear mongering and outright lying on tax increases BS from the rethuglicans folks.

    I watched both men yesterday. Neither one said that the middle class was going to have a tax increase any time soon, if ever.

    The only ones that "heard" that are either tinfoil had wearing morons, birthers, rethuglican spin doctors or some combination thereof.

    Leave it to the rethugs to spread fear and lies when ever they can....

    August 3, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Jane

    I think we need to overhaul tax laws to fairly tax according to income. We need to stop allowing Big Buiness/wealthy individuals to offshore money and skate free of taxes. We need to eliminate waste. I think some make way too much money while the rest get peanuts. We need to equalize incomes to correct many of our social problems. I actually favor abolishing capitalism and money, but I know this will not happen any time soon. What we have now is so massively corrupt I do not see any ready solutions.

    August 3, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Randolph Carter

    Sorry folks, we've been living high on the hog for decades. We are the most spoiled, wasteful people on the planet. It's about time that those who have benefitted the most from the system put something back in. Closing all tax loopholes is a good way to start. Do you really think that the rich pay the rate that you see on the tax forms?

    And to all of you complaining about lazy welfare mothers: you obviously haven't spent a lot of time around poor people. Stop believing what the talking heads on TV say and get out in your community. Volunteer at a food bank or a homeless shelter. You may find that real poor people are very different than the trite stereotypes you seem so fond of. Have a nice day!

    August 3, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. rhoward

    For over 25 years, Congress and Presidents have been busy giving tax cuts and adding or expanding government programs without cutting other spending to pay for them. The bill is due and anyone who thinks that middle class taxpayers are not going to have to help the foot the bill is only fooling themselves.

    August 3, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. drummajor66

    Of course we believe them. I mean they have never gone back on any of their other promises, right?

    August 3, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Kelby In Houston, TX

    GREAT! That should dispell any rumor or mis information that the GOP is going to put out....
    Really, the mischaracterization of the opposing point of view happens to often and it does not advance the argument to its ultimate conclusion. It's childish, stupid and wrong and both parties Ds and Rs liberals and conservatives must stop doing this. If your idea can't compete you lose. Grow up get over it and move on

    August 3, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. makesUwonder

    EVERYONE.............even you libs.............look at this guy Geithner.........would you trust him?..................these people are going to raise EVERYONE'S taxes. They have to in order to pay for their obscene spending. You name it and they will tax it, just wait.

    August 3, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Nate

    So he just plans to spend to the hilt with the economy in the tank with no new taxes? We never hear any specifics just these spectacular flowery speeches. There is a big difference between campaigning and governing and we are seeing it.

    August 3, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. phoenix86

    Better tell Timmy that. He clearly did not commit to that on the program. Look for another Obama lie as he raises taxes on everyone to pay for his socialization programs.

    2012 cannot come fast enough.

    August 3, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. jon

    Lies, lies, lies. Seriously, who could believe this??? We are 10+ TRILLION in debt, and that's before Heathchare and Medicare/Soc Security going bankrupt. Printing money won't work for much longer. Sorry, I'm intelligent enough not to believe these silly lies.

    August 3, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. walleye

    I said this back in January, and I will say it again now that Obama's policies are starting to take affect.

    In a year from now when the economy is starting to turn around thanks to Obama's policys, will all you ranting and raving RepubliKlans be big enough to give the man his due, admit he was right and apologize for your hateful comments? I doubt it. You will find something else to criticize about him. You are all right wing nut jobs who need a moron like Limbarf to lead you.

    August 3, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Sick -n- Tired

    The Republicans definition of middle class is if you make between $1million and $5 million a year base salary! That's the so called "middle class" they're trying to protect right there! Oh and small business is considered AIG, Enron, KBR/Haliburton, Blackwater/XE, Merck, Phizer,Glaxco, Lockheed,..........ect. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    August 3, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. George

    Obama keeps his promises. Republicans are not used to an honest president. That makes them crazy!!!!!

    August 3, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Leonard

    Please get ahead of this and do not let the GOP use it to scare the rest of the American public.

    August 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Rick in OP

    Basically what all this boils down to is the Obama Administration wants to “Tax and Spend”. Their problem is that they cannot raise taxes during a prolonged recession with high unemployment. They also have no money left to spend unless they borrow more from the Chinese.
    Health care reform and cap and trade will require massive tax hikes to pay for them. At least Geithner and Summers were being honest when they said that tax increases will be necessary to finance the Obama agenda.

    August 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Wake Up

    Geitner is a political hack and cheat. Can anyone see a pattern with Obama? He appoints liars, race-baiters and tax cheats!
    Obama is just another lying politician...just more dangerous because he's fooled a lot of uninformed people.
    I know "profit" is bad now, and "rich" is bad...without these two things this country would be an awful place

    August 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. annie s

    The two cabinet members were reckless in their comments. President Obama made a pledge and has so far kept it; if taxes need to be raised, we can start where he promised – by ending the Bush tax cuts to the rich – just do it NOW instead of letting them expire next year. However, as a member of the middle class and a self employed small business owner, I would be happy to pay a small increase in taxes if it gets us true health reform with a robust public option. We're all Americans and we must all do our part.

    August 3, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. J.C.

    It costs more than $15,000 per year to insure my family through work. How much more taxes do you think you are willing to pay IF you and your employer can stop paying $15,000 per year?

    IF you don't want to continue supporting your favorite insurance company, a single-payer, government-run health care system is what we need. This is Plain and Simple, and I am not even a Democrat.

    August 3, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Joe

    I think Geitner and Summers should shut up, and let the President's words speak for themselves. He said no raising of taxes on the middle class, and that's the way it will be! I want to see the rich pay for health care, since they have NEVER paid their fair share of taxes in this country, ever! It's time. I DO NOT FELL SORRY FOR THEM! It's time they paid for something. They are completely selfish and uncaring for their fellow Americans! Nail them to the wall on paying for this!!! It's about time!!

    August 3, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. PG

    Why does the media want to create a controversy when there is none. Summer and Geithner said that they cannot claim that taxes will never increase. They are not in position to claim what can happen in the future. None at CNN can say what will happen at CNN 2 or 10 years from now.
    Stop the disinformation

    August 3, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. J.P.

    And he's not lying either... what they'll do is simply move the goal posts (redefine the definition of "middle class" to mean anyone making more than $10-15K per year).

    Barry's socialist beliefs and promises have sent investors running scared and screaming for the exits and heading for the hills.

    Mark my words:
    there will be NO recovery while Obama sits in the White House.

    You *MUST* have investment dollars to grow jobs, prosperity and recovery. And the investors will not show their heads as long as Barry is wielding the whack-a-mole hammer. Result: Barry Fail.

    August 3, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Everyone seems to be bashing Obama about tax hikes....WELL, what about all the pay raises the Senate and House approve for themselves, with NO taxpayer or voter say!...Now that's real taxation without representation!

    August 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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