Although his biggest tax related campaign promise was NOT to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000, it looks like the administration may be planning to do so anyway. According to new reports, Obama's treasury secretary warned that he could not rule out the idea of higher taxes on middle-class Americans as part of their health care reform package.
As the White House sought to balance campaign rhetoric with governing, officials appeared willing to extend unemployment benefits. With former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan saying he is "pretty sure we've already seen the bottom" of the recession, Obama aides sought to defend the economic stimulus and calm a jittery public.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Larry Summers both sidestepped questions on Obama's intentions about taxes. Geithner said the White House was not ready to rule out a tax hike to lower the federal deficit; Summers said Obama's proposed health care overhaul needs funding from somewhere.
"There is a lot that can happen over time," Summers said, adding that the administration believes "it is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out, no matter what."
During his presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly vowed "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime." But the simple reality remains that his ambitious overhaul of how Americans receive health care -- promised without increasing the federal deficit -- must be paid for.