It All Depends on What Your Definition of Tax Is


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."