Thursday, March 26, 2009

History Repeating Itself

President Obama's budget chief hinted Wednesday that the president's signature campaign issue -- a middle-class tax cut -- will not likely survive a budget battle with Democrats on Capitol Hill. On a conference call with reporters in advance of the president's trip to the Hill to speak before the Senate Democratic caucus, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag indicated that, while 98 percent of the budget mark-ups in the House and Senate are on par with the administration's budget blueprint, some campaign trail promises, like middle-class tax cuts, may get left on the cutting room floor.

Seeking to explain why he is backtracking on a campaign promise to cut taxes for the middle class, President-elect Bill Clinton said Thursday that the plan was never a major theme in his race for the White House. Mr. Clinton, speaking at a news conference a day after saying he would have to "revisit" his tax-cut plan, said Americans voted for him because of the "big things" he wanted to do.The middle-class tax cut, he said, was not among them....

Mr. Clinton spoke throughout the campaign of the need to redress declining middle-class incomes during the 1980s. He proposed a tax cut for the middle class nearly a year ago, in New Hampshire, and repeated the pledge frequently.