NYT Shocker: 'Obama’s Pledge to Tax Only the Rich Can’t Pay for Everything'

Unless you are hopelessly liberal and/or drinking WAY too much Kool-Aid, you are fully aware that President Obama and his Democrat minions on Capitol Hill can't get enough money from the so-called rich to pay for all the programs they're proposing.

On Saturday, such an inconvenient truth was actually revealed by none other than the New York Times:

"This idea that everything new that government provides ought to be paid for by the top 5 percent, that's a basically unstable way of governing."..."There is no way we can pay for health care and the rest of the Obama agenda, plus get our long-term deficits under control, simply by raising taxes on the wealthy...The middle class is going to have to contribute as well."

In an article surprisingly titled "Obama’s Pledge to Tax Only the Rich Can’t Pay for Everything, Analysts Say," Jackie Calmes from the outset went where few Obama-loving media members dare (h/t Bruce Bartlett):

Behind Democrats' struggle to pay the $1 trillion 10-year cost of President Obama's promise to overhaul the health care system is their collision with another of his well-known pledges: that 95 percent of Americans "will not see their taxes increase by a single dime" during his term.

This will not be the last time that the president runs into a conflict between his audacious agenda and his pay-as-you-go guarantee, when only 5 percent of taxpayers are being asked to chip in. Critics from conservative to liberal warn that Mr. Obama has tied his and Congress's hands on a range of issues, including tax reform and the need to reduce deficits topping $1 trillion a year.

"You can only go to the same well so many times," said Bruce Bartlett, a Treasury official in the Reagan administration.

Imagine that. Not only did Calmes question the President's message, but she also quoted a Republican to support her point.

Heavens.

But that was just the beginning:

Polls show strong majorities supporting higher taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year, Mr. Obama's target group. Yet some Congressional Democrats are fearful of Republicans' attacks that "soak the rich" tax increases will douse small-business owners, too, even if the number of those affected is far less than Republicans suggest.

Also, higher rates like those in the House health care legislation could lead to tax avoidance schemes, reducing the government's collections and warping business decisions, analysts say. [...]

Mr. Obama's vow to tax only the rich is a variation "of Bush's policy that nobody has to pay for anything," said Leonard Burman, a veteran of the Clinton administration Treasury and director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

"Democrats are more worried about the deficits," Mr. Burman added, but "they put the burden on a tiny fraction of the population that they figure doesn't vote for them anyway."

Mr. Burman and others recall that in the creation of Social Security and Medicare, Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson insisted that beneficiaries contribute through payroll taxes, both to finance the programs and to give all Americans a vested interest. The same philosophy should apply to seeking universal health coverage, they say.

"This idea that everything new that government provides ought to be paid for by the top 5 percent, that's a basically unstable way of governing," Mr. Burman said.

WOW! That bears repeating: "This idea that everything new that government provides ought to be paid for by the top 5 percent, that's a basically unstable way of governing."

Yes folks, this was not only quoted by the Times, but came from a former Clinton administration official.

Yikes. But there's still more:

But [Obama's] no-new-tax admonition for most Americans even now complicates the behind-the-scenes work of the panel he established to recommend ways to simplify the tax code and raise more revenue.

The panel, which is led by Paul A. Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, is to report by Dec. 4. Overhauling the code, as in 1986, generally creates winners and losers across the board; leaving 95 percent of taxpayers unscathed will not be easy.

That has already proved true in the health care deliberations. Proposals to raise about $50 billion over 10 years by taxing sugared drinks foundered partly because the levy would hit nearly everyone.

And when Congressional leaders opposed Mr. Obama's chief idea for raising revenues - limiting affluent taxpayers' deductions - his campaign vow against taxing the middle class made finding an acceptable alternative difficult. [...]

"There is no way we can pay for health care and the rest of the Obama agenda, plus get our long-term deficits under control, simply by raising taxes on the wealthy," said Isabel V. Sawhill, a former Clinton administration budget official. "The middle class is going to have to contribute as well."

Wow! Let's read THAT again, shall we? "There is no way we can pay for health care and the rest of the Obama agenda, plus get our long-term deficits under control, simply by raising taxes on the wealthy...The middle class is going to have to contribute as well."

Exit question: If Americans across the fruited plain were aware of what was in this Times piece -- in particular, that taxes will INDEED have to be raised on the middle class to pay for healthcare reform -- how might the polling numbers change concerning this issue?

Nice job, Jackie!

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.