To get the economy back on track, will President Barack Obama have to break his pledge not to raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans? In a “This Week” exclusive, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told me, “We’re going to have to do what’s necessary.”
Geithner was clear that he believes a key component of economic recovery is deficit reduction. When I gave him several opportunities to rule out a middle class tax hike, he wouldn’t do it.
“We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically,” Geithner told me. “And that’s going to require some very hard choices.”
But…but… The One said:
Of course, the Treasury Secretary’s remarks aren’t a thundering revelation; anyone who’s looked honestly at the amount of money committed under the stimulus bill and the current budget, and the amounts needed to pay for ObamaCare realizes he can pay for it only by borrowing, printing money, or raising taxes – probably some combination of all three. What’s clear is that it can’t be paid for by taxing the rich alone. That means he must raise taxes on the middle classes during a severe recession, one of the surest ways to choke a real recovery.
And Geithner’s remarks aren’t the first hint from this administration that the “no middle-class tax hike” pledge would go under the bus: Axelrod was crossing his fingers behind his back over a month ago, as was Obama’s Press Secretary. All this is just laying the groundwork for Obama himself to eventually break his promise, regretting the need to do so while blaming Bush.
Harry Truman once said that a platform is to run on, not to stand on, but I don’t think he meant “stomp it into little pieces,” either.