By Ned Barnett | American Thinker | October 27, 2008
I confess. Senator Obama's two tax promises: to limit tax increases to only those making over $250,000 a year, and to not raise taxes on 95% of "working Americans," intrigued me. As a hard-working small business owner, over the past ten years I've earned from $50,000 to $100,000 per year. If Senator Obama is shooting straight with us, under his presidency I could look forward to paying no additional Federal taxes -- I might even get a break -- and as I struggle to support a family and pay for two boys in college, a reliable tax freeze is nearly as welcome as further tax cuts.
However, Senator Obama's dual claims seemed implausible, especially when it came to my Federal income taxes. Those implausible promises made me look at what I'd been paying before President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as well as what I paid after those tax cuts became law. I chose the 2000 tax tables as my baseline -- they reflect the tax rates that Senator Obama will restore by letting the "Bush Tax Cuts" lapse. I wanted to see what that meant from my tax bill.
I've worked as the state level media and strategy director on three Presidential election campaigns -- I know how "promises" work -- so I analyzed Senator Obama's promises by looking for loopholes.
The first loophole was easy to find: Senator Obama doesn't "count" allowing the Bush tax cuts to lapse as a tax increase. Unless the cuts are re-enacted, rates will automatically return to the 2000 level. Senator Obama claims that letting a tax cut lapse -- allowing the rates to return to a higher levels -- is not actually a "tax increase." It's just the lapsing of a tax cut.
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