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AP: Obama tax pledge up in smoke

Non-rich people hardest hit

I’m savoring the sweet irony here, because the AP was so tucked away in Obama’s hip pocket during the campaign, dissing Sarah Palin and all. Now their reporter Calvin Woodward files this story:

WASHINGTON – One of President Barack Obama’s campaign pledges on taxes went up in puffs of smoke Wednesday.

The largest increase in tobacco taxes took effect despite Obama’s promise not to raise taxes of any kind on families earning under $250,000 or individuals under $200,000.

This is one tax that disproportionately affects the poor, who are more likely to smoke than the rich.

To be sure, Obama’s tax promises in last year’s campaign were most often made in the context of income taxes. Not always.

“I can make a firm pledge,” he said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12. “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

He repeatedly vowed “you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime.”

Well, technically, the prevaricator-in-chief was right. No tax has increased by only one single dime. But a lot of taxes are increasing by a lot of dollars, and we’re not even to the 100-day mark of the Obamanation.

Oh well. At least it’s “for the children.” Obama’s law raising the tobacco tax to as much as $1.01 a pack is earmarked to finance a major increase in health insurance for kids. But he assured us during the campaign that we could expand affordable health insurance without raising taxes on anyone but the filthy rich. And his published health care plan was purported to be “more than covered” by raising taxes on the wealthy alone. It was not based on raising the tobacco tax.

The White House contends Obama’s campaign pledge left room for measures such as the one financing children’s health insurance. His spin-meisters in the White House are busy splitting semantic hairs to hide the fact The One was less than candid on this issue. But the fact remains that what Obama promised then and what he is doing now are more often than not two different things.

I only wonder if the mainstream media, some of which have suddenly rediscovered the meaning of “journalistic ethics,” thinks it can somehow undo the damage it has done by bending over backwards to help elect such a deceitful charlatan to the highest political office in the land.

- JP

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