August 4th, 2009
10:20 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama may fall into Bush 41 tax trap

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama has said he will not raise taxes on those making $250,000 or less."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - "Read my lips: No new taxes."

That famous phrase from George H.W. Bush came as he accepted his party's presidential nomination at the Republican National Committee convention in 1988.

At the time, it was exactly the red meat Republicans were looking for. But campaigning and governing are two very different things.

Bush was elected as the nation was slipping into a recession. When confronted with a growing national deficit, he had to find a source of revenue.

That revenue came in the way of raising taxes, a move that especially rankled members of the GOP and became an issue for Democrats to run on in 1992. Democrat Bill Clinton was swept into the White House.

Pushing forward to 2009, another president may have trekked onto the same territory.

On Monday, the White House sought to shoot down concerns that middle-class families may face a tax increase in order to combat rising deficits and a struggling economy after its two top money men floated the idea that tax increases to fund the nation's economic recovery could extend beyond the wealthiest Americans.

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Filed under: President Bush • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter

    I don't have children. Nor do I plan to. Why should my tax dollars go to fund public schools? You mommies and daddies are a bunch of lazy freeloaders looking for a handout. You've been brainwashed by the teachers' unions. If you can't afford private schools, too bad. Have a nice day!

    August 4, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama will tell you he won't raise your taxes so he can occupy the White House for 8 years. After his re-election, watch him raise taxes because he won't care – I wouldn't trust someone who has such a big ego as he does.

    August 4, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. John from California

    Tax the people with income over $250K and make up the shortfall by canceling pork barrel spending in defense.

    That way President Obama can keep his campaign promise and republican districts can find out about the recession after their pork is cut.

    Cutting the F22 was a start and Star Wars and other dubious programs should follow, then we'll hear the screams from Southern Republican Senators!

    The republicans have made it into an art form the way they shifted dollars from Democratic States to conservative Republican States well, it's time to shift it back or eliminate some of these wasteful programs.

    August 4, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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