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. Peter (CA)

    Whine all you want right wingers....and it seems to be the same ones over and over.

    At least Obama is trying to get this country back on track. Why don't the Republicans try to help? They appeared perfectly happy with insurance companies dictating health care. Now, that they see there will be some reform, they backtrack and make up excuses and lies. Why not? It's what they are best at.

    August 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    This is what they said to get elected as well, No Middle class tax increase. Then they passed the new cigarette tax.
    All they are going to do is a shell game, no income tax increase, but we will tax your health care benefits, premiums, and anything else we can latch a fee onto. But it is a fee not a tax, right?

    August 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Rob Johnson

    Smart move.

    Obama has already lost the rich conservatives, not that he ever had a chance with them to begin with.

    If he loses the middle class working people, he has no constituency.

    Remember, there are more of us (middle class) than there are of them (wealthy Wall Street types).

    August 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Steve, Columbia SC

    Wow, I am amazed at how fast, warp speed, the WH is back-pedalling on taxing the middle class for the health care reform.

    Yet two TOP Administration economic advisers put the proposal. Is this another "let the adviser test the water" action? Where is the transparency in this "administration of change"?

    August 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. US Citizen

    Why does Congress allow the IT Idustry to replace their U.S. Citizen employees with foreign IT employess? IT Industry is contributung to unemployent of The United States of America! Middle Class America is being replaced so India, China, and Western Europe keeps the IT Industry!

    Foreign IT employees have more rights too! Please, Middle Class America is going, going, going...............................................................

    Middle Class Millionares need to STOP kicking out the Middle Class!

    August 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |

    Oboma knows exactly what he is doing. You republicans if you had the answer why didn't you do something 8 years ago. Oboma is our first african american president. and he is doing a great job. Can't wait till 2012 he will remain our president. So get use to it. You repubs had your chance. Now stand back and let a real man handle a mans business.

    August 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Barack won the election, America loses big time.

    Yea and what do you call beverage taxes, cigarette taxes, payroll taxes to Small businesses whoes net income is below 250K. I guess liberal socialist call those a tax decrease. Why because they are raising the taxes less than they had hoped they could.

    What a farce. How do you know this administration is lying, anyone, whether it is the President, his Czars from Socialist utopies or from the democratic party's lips are moving.

    August 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. cedgar

    I m fine with my taxes going up as long as the government has
    cut spending by 30%.
    In the spending cuts nothing is exempt.
    If the government can not make any spending cuts

    August 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    Didn't see this one coming – LOL. What is most disturbing is that WH is floating the idea of a VAT to be added to the cost of goods. VAT's are regressive so they are most punishing on the poor and middle class. But at least Obama could say he did not raise income taxes on those making under $250K. If you feel that paying taxes is patriotic, then how many of you have given back Obama's $13/wk tax cut? How many of you refused to accept Bush's tax cuts? How many of you are super-patriotic and pay extra tax? I guess Tim "tax cheat" Geithner is not patriotic since he doesn't pay taxes.

    August 3, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Bill

    The President continues to say that he will on not raise taxes on middle-class families and once again the question is what does this administration use as an income level of the "middle class". If it is $250 K per year then in my opinion they have lost sight of what is middle class in today's economy. Maybe 10-15 years ago $250 K per year was considered to be in the upper class but today a family trying to put children through school and own a home can only be done barely at this income level and they are the middle class of today!

    August 3, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Scott

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

    Yeah, that's why the stock market is doing so well right now.

    I believe in our President. The naysayers would stand indignant when faced with facts and still be naysayers. They'll never change.

    August 3, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Jon in CA

    Anyone STILL believing campaign promises made by Obama should get their HEAD EXAMINED!

    "No lobbyists" – broken promise
    "Transparency..." – broken promise
    "Troops home!" – broken promise
    "Bi-partisan approach" – broken promise
    "sunlight before signing" – broken promise
    "Earmark Reform" – broken promise

    The list goes on and on and on......

    August 3, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. "Read my lips"

    The increases always follows after the sprongest denials...Obama is
    having his economial team give out conflickting messages...One say
    all is on the table and then this one says read my lips...we heard this one before....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 3, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. A B C

    It's about time that the rich pull their weight. The middle class has been struggling for years with high taxes, living from check to check. TO HELL WITH TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS.

    August 3, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Weepy

    We are not convinced that ANYONE has a viable solution for our economic problems-least of all TIMMY. He is a "twerpy" nerd, with his little delicate hands, and his shifty eyes. Not one feature about him to garner any TRUST. But then–he does fit right in with Obama's collection of "advisers". GOD HELP US!!

    August 3, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. JoeCool

    Get all the Dumbocrats to pay their back taxes and tax cheats like Geithner wouldn't have to lie all the time about how the middle class won't see tax increases.

    August 3, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Barack won the election, America loses big time.

    This administration has lied so often to us, they don't even know what the truth is anymore. Meanwhile the Middle Class is hurting big time, with massive losses in jobs, with a a truck load of electricity taxes coming down the pike and healthcare tax hikes coming down the pike, and with even more job losses coming down the pike. Has the government run anything well, ever? Never, with one exception WWII.

    Barack wants to change our verse from God Bless America to God please forgive this country for having succesfull businesses for 233 years. He is a Marxist, Imperialist, Fascist Dictator. He is WRONG for the United States of America. Thanks for waking up America, and realizing what a Whacko you elected, as his poll number are seriously tanking amongst Hispanics, the younger generation trying to find a job (good luck with Obama as your president).

    August 3, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. simp

    I am a democrate and i voted for Pres Obama, however i'm not all that sure about geitner. He has no backbone, he does not impress me at all. I hope that just a smoke screen because we need strong treasury secetary and I don' see that in him.

    August 3, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Axl in Iowa

    Yeah Right...

    August 3, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. b franklin


    Every week, it's a member of the Adminnistration saying one thing, then the White House has to come out and say, "No, No, No, that's not what we meant to say. We would never do that."

    The very fact that not one, but two admin officials mentioned the tax hike means that they have discussed it and White House is lying to the American people. Gibbs seems to be very comfortable at this, and it's a good thing, because it's a skill he will need to use repeatedly with this Administration.

    August 3, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Sandra Day

    Too bad the poor and middle classe just do not get it, sometimes. They do not realize that when Republicans complain about taxes going up, they only mean for the rich. Can never figure out why those poor small towners think they are benefiting themselves by siding with the Republicans. But, this is why the Republicans keep beating their chests and claim to be the moral party, the poor small towners believe it, and keep voting them in regardless.

    August 3, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Commen Sense Reality Check

    A TAX IS COMING... don't let them fool you.... and you thought you could trust what a politician was saying during a campaign.... HA!

    August 3, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Term Limits for Congress

    You are not going to have a so called "Middle Class Tax" that would be political suicide. But you will raise the tax on just about everything the middle class uses. You will cause economic burden on the middle class through other taxes. Things will get more expensive for the middle class, but you can sleep at night knowing that a lot of morons who do not think beyond the headlines will re-elect you.

    August 3, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. seebofubar

    Amazing, even his picture shows how proficient this guy is at speaking out of both sides of hios mouth. This administration has in 6 months out spent the 3 previous administrations combined! And where do you think that money is going to come from? Do you think it's going to come from the so called rich pepole who contribute to their campaign coffers? If you believe that, I'll sell you the bridge to nowhere.

    August 3, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Kevin in Ohio

    Members of the same administration can't even get their stories straight. But chances are that Geithner is correct..... and Obama will have LIED to the American People once again.

    August 3, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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