Americans for Limited Government traces the evolution of Barack Obama's "firm pledge" to avoid "any form of tax increase" on families earning less than $250,000 a year into a squishy promise that does not "draw lines in the sand" or "absolutely rule things out" but instead allows the administration to "do what it takes." As Katherine Mangu-Ward noted this morning, the president's attempts to narrow his pledge so that it does not include the taxes he ends up raising (such as the federal cigarette tax, raised a few weeks after he took office, or the proposed levies on Americans who fail to buy health insurance) recently prompted a testy exchange with George Stephanopoulos in which the ABC interviewer cited the dictionary definition of tax, which Obama saw as evidence that Stephanopoulos was "stretching a little bit."
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