Read My Lips

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Remember President Obama’s supposedly inviolable pledge—repeatedly uttered during the 2008 campaign and at countless town meetings since the inauguration—that he would never raise taxes on middle-class citizens who earn $250,000 a year or less?

This morning at a Manhattan breakfast sponsored by Thomson Reuters, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag threw that pledge out the window. Instead, he described Obama’s “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge as a “stance” and a “preference” that is subject to study by the president’s newly formed bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

“The president has been very clear about what he prefers.”

Oh, so it’s a preference now.

Let it be known that I can deal with Obama being late, coy or plain non-existent (buh bye, gay America), on a lot of issues. I recognize that some things are just harder to grapple than others in Washington. But if he thinks I’ll just roll over at the idea of him raising taxes, he’s plain wrong.

I know we have the lowest tax rate among any western nation, I know we have the lowest tax rate right now in a generation and I know we have a duty to pay taxes to keep a functioning government — but I don’t care. I wouldn’t mind seeing highish tax rates if I really got a good deal on my investment, but we’re just throwing good money after bad at this point and it’s not helping anyone except the Chinese. I do not doubt, for an instant, that half of the agencies in Washington could be done away with and no adverse consequences would befall anyone. A little thrift goes a long way. A lot of it goes even further.

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