John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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What to Expect From President Obama

Posted on September 23, 2008

 


 


            In a rare moment of candor, Barack Obama admitted this morning on the Today Show that he probably won’t fulfill his campaign promises, right away.  In an interview with Matt Lauer he said, “Does that mean that I can do everything that I've called for in this campaign right away? Probably not.  I think we're going to have to phase it


in and a lot of it is going to depend on what our tax revenues look like."


 


            In other words, don’t expect Obama to stick with his campaign promises.


 


            I have often said that what Obama has promised in this campaign are not worth much more than the paper they were written on.  Obama has made a lot of promises to cut taxes for 95% of the American people, and reserve his tax increases on those poor suckers who make more than $250,000.


 


            But depending on what the tax revenues look like, those tax promises will go out the window.  So what is the magic number for Obama in the first term?  Will the magic number stay at a quarter of a million a year or will it slip to a tenth of a million a year?  Will Obama reach down and start increasing taxes on families making $70,000 a year.


 


            Probably.


 


            Obama’s natural instinct is to raise taxes to increase government spending.  He has a track record of voting 94 times to either increase taxes or against tax cuts in his time in the Senate.   With the Congress likely to stay in Democratic hands, those instincts will only be encouraged.


 


            As Obama himself has said, he looks at his campaign promises as a work in progress.  He says on the campaign trail with great certainty that he will cut taxes for 95% of the American people.  But can we really believe him that he will keep that promise, given the economic situation and a Democratic Congress that wants to raise taxes in a hurry. 


 


            We can expect just about everybody who pays taxes now to pay a lot more under Barack Obama.   It might not be in his campaign plan today, but it what we should expect from President Obama nonetheless.