The Ever-Descending Obama Tax (and Credibility) Threshold

Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 11:46 pm
The Ever-Descending Obama Tax (and Credibility) Threshold

"Change" Is In The Air: From $250,000 to $200,000 to $150,000 to $120,000



NYC Letter: Drink The Kool-Aid: Obama Tax Cuts Redux

Countdown 2 days to go

Let me be absolutely clear. If you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes go up. Not your capital gains tax, not your payroll tax, not your income tax. No taxes. Your taxes will not go up.

Mr. Obama,
being perfectly clear about a $250,000 tax hike floor
SPRINGFIELD, Missouri July 30, 2008 (CNN)

So let's be clear about my tax plan... I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans, 95 percent. If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.

Mr. Obama,
being clear about his tax plan
NASHVILLE, Tennessee October 7, 2008 (CNN)

Mr. Obama deliberately conflates two campaign messages, tax hikes for the rich, tax cuts for the middle class. This is a neat trick. The truth of Mr. Obama's tax plan requires careful parsing and cross-referencing different message stylings at different times, in different venues. Most listeners just take for granted they are in the 95 percentile because, well, it's a really big percentile.

Mr. Obama believes that the middle class ends at $249,999.99. If you stay below Mr. Obama's quarter million dollar earnings mark, you are a middle-class Joe. If you stay below Mr. Obama's $200,000 earnings mark -- Congratulations! -- you are a middle-class beneficiary of Obamanomics.

Or maybe not.


Obama's position in the past was that he would raise taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $200,000. But in his new ad, "Defining Moment," he seems to lower it to $200,000 for families. Mr. Obama:

Here's what I'll do as president. To deal with our current emergency I'll launch a rescue plan for the middle class That begins with a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. If you have a job, pay taxes and make less than $200,000 a year, you'll get a tax cut.

That seems kind of ambiguous, but the graphic on the screen says clearly:

Famlies making less than $200,000 get tax cut.


Joe "Hi-Q" Biden, October 27, 2008:

What we’re saying is that $87 billion tax break doesn’t need to go to people making an average of $1.4 million, it should go like it used to. It should go to middle class people " people making under $150,000 a year.


Bill "Et Tu" Richardson, October 31, 2008:

What Obama wants to do is, is, he is basically looking at $120,000 and under among those that in the middle class that there is a tax cut for those.

So what is it, $250,000? $200,000? $150,000? $120,000? [Pause.] The Obama campaign can reasonably argue that those between $250K and the tax-cut threshold won't have their taxes raised. That keeps them square with Mr. Obama's promise. But the Obama campaign cannot ratchet down the tax-cut ceiling, again and again, and Mr. Obama still credibly claim a tax cut for 95% of Americans. If 95% of Americans get a tax cut at the $200,000 threshold, lowering that threshold by 40% reduces those eligible for Mr. Obama's tax cut. Those newly above the lower tax-cut thresholds are moved one notch closer to a tax hike. As a practical matter it is doubtful that the Obama campaign having busted the 95% promise won't move the tax increase threshold lower also.

"I'm Barack Obama And I Approve This Kool-Aid"

The more telling question, is Mr. Obama's talk of a tax cut even plausible? The Congress has just authorized $700 billion in mad money for the next administration to intervene in financial markets. Atop that is $152 billion of "stimulus". Add to that the trillion dollars in new spending Mr. Obama plans and one question leaps out:

Who's paying for all this?
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