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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Well, It's True He "Didn't Raise Taxes Once"

I have warned you about the Wordsmith-in-Chief.  You have to listen very carefully.

In his interview with Bill O'Reilly just before the Superbowl, Obama said (via TaxProf)(emphasis mine):
O'REILLY: Do you deny that you are a man who wants to redistribute wealth.

OBAMA: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You deny that?

OBAMA: Absolutely. I didn't raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years.I lowered taxes for the last two years.”
But as the links at TaxProf show, in fact Obama has raised taxes more than once so I guess that technically he was correct in saying he didn't raise taxes once.  From The Wall Street Journal:
... perhaps Mr. Obama has forgotten some of his tax achievements. Allow us to refresh his memory. In his historic health-care bill, for example, there is the new $27 billion "fee" on drug companies that is already in effect. Next year, device manufacturers will get hit to the tune of $20 billion, and heath insurers will pay $60 billion starting in 2014—all of which are de facto tax increases because these collections will be passed on to consumers as higher costs. Of course, these are merely tax increases on business.

As for tax increases on individuals, perhaps he forgot the health-care bill's new 0.9 percentage point increase in the Medicare payroll tax for families making over $250,000 and singles over $200,000. That tax increase takes effect in 2013, as will the application of what will be a 3.8% Medicare surtax (up from 2.9% today) to "unearned income" for the first time. This is a tax hike on investment and interest income, which will reduce the incentive to save and invest.
The normally Obama-compliant Politifact also points out:
The idea that Obama did not raise taxes is just plain wrong. He signed legislation raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products soon after taking office; that money goes to pay for children's health insurance programs. The law went into effect in 2009. He also signed the health care law, which includes taxes on indoor tanning that went into effect last year.
And of course, none of this even includes the taxes Obama would have imposed if he could have, such as cap-and-tax.

But the damage is done to the truth in the public eye.  Tens of millions saw the interview, a small fraction will read The Wall Street Journal, and even more minute fraction will read this blog.

Perhaps Joe Wilson should have conducted the interview.

Mission Accomplished.

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  1. Professor, I know this question is off topic, but perhaps you have a better idea than I do why I'm reading so much outrage by the Left concerning the Obama/O'Reilly interview.

    I watched it, and other that being a more casual than other Presidential interviews, I didn't see a problem.

    However, I keep hearing how disrespectful, hateful, and inappropriate the interview was.

    I have to admit, I'm scratching my head. Any ideas?

  2. The man is an a-social liar.

    I'm sure when he said those things, he actually believed them. And that makes him even more dangerous.

  3. Who's to blame when the truth is damaged? The liar or the lie-ee? My answer is, the lie-ee, because blaming the liar is foisting responsibility on another in a dialectical situation. Doing that subverts a conservative principle: self-reliance. A liar tells lies, it's their nature just as it's the nature of a scorpion to sting. Just as no one is required to carry a scorpion on their back, so no one is required to accept or believe a liar's lies. So if truth is damaged, the one who accepted untruth done it. That's what I see.

  4. I've got that one, Freedm. Love him or hate him, O'Reilly is famous for softballing his interviews and really letting the other person spark by presenting their opinions when dealt with a "Oh, shucks, that doesn't seem right," persona.

    The Left needs to freak out that "The One" had this interview so they can present it is as the super-mean Conservative scandal, and not the respectful interview it was. So that way everyone in the media is too scared to really press him in a Conservative meeting.

  5. I think what he meant was "There was a time once when I didn't raise taxes." The "Now I raise them all the time" part was implicit. The US Constitution is chock full of difficult to decode statements like that.

  6. When will conservative interviewers actually, I dunno, PREPARE for the inevitable lies Obama will spout in reply to nearly any question? Would it have too much to expect O'Reilly to have the facts right at hand to rebut the lie?

    Instead, what could have been a reality illuminating moment of truth becomes another example of the ability of lies to wrap themselves in truth and mislead those who are disengaged.

  7. Oh, this is just a misunderstanding: he was referring to his own taxes, and his own wealth!
    He used one of those tax tricks he disparages to avoid paying a dime of tax to the US government on the Nobel Prize, leaving the rest of America to make up the difference, and being generous to American Charities without actually sharing the $5.5 Million he earned in 2009 (I think that makes him one of the "wealthy" he says need to pay more taxes, doesn't it?).

    His tax return also shows a very large "Foreign Tax Credit" - which I think means he was paying his taxes to some other nation instead of the one he's President of. Is that one of those "loopholes for the rich" he keeps complaining about?

    It is all legal and above board, of course, but that doesn't make it any less cheesy. And even the conservatives have given him a pass on it. :-(

  8. Obamanomics 101:

    "If we don't actually use the word 'tax', then it doesn't count as a tax."

    I'm still confused as to why we don't get a tax credit of $1.50 for each tax dollar we pay, yet our government assumes each of our tax dollars it spends injects $1.50 into the economy...

  9. He is absolutely correct, he didn't raise taxes at all.
    The Congress does that.

  10. "However, I keep hearing how disrespectful, hateful, and inappropriate the interview was.

    I have to admit, I'm scratching my head. Any ideas?"

    "Hate" -- to the Left -- means people, ideas, speech that the Left doesn't like. It is a magic word of dismissal, which means we don't need to discuss the content. It was "hate", and therefore off the table for any effort at analysis.

    It is the equivalent of NewSpeak's "Ungood". It doesn't matter what was said. Bill O'Reilly said it. Ergo, it is "Hate".