We have already seen the toxic effects on a presidential legacy – and approval ratings – after breaking a sacred political trust. Will we again?
We watched him campaign repeatedly, telling us that the last thing that we needed was a continuation of how they do things economically in Washington. Primarily, we heard that the majority of Americans would not be taxed more under his administration. The people that needed relief the most would get that relief, he promised. It became a rallying cry throughout the fall’s presidential campaign, providing enough of a push to allow him to gain entry into the Oval Office.
Unfortunately for him, approval ratings began tanking in sync with rumors of a reversal of the campaign promises about taxes.
Particularly, no new taxes.
Remember reading President G. H. Bush’s lips?
We have already seen what happens to a president that garners a high approval rating and confidence throughout the country, only to plummet in the polls after reversing a pledge on taxes. Now, President Obama hopes that his administration’s fate doesn’t follow that trend after some within his camp have allowed tax hike rumors to perk up.
With the massive amount of government spending that has been pledged under the Obama Administration, the options for getting the country out of debt (or even to reasonable levels of budgetary balance) are few and far between. That is why Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Chief Economic Advisor Lawrence Summers have already begun to prime the nation for the strong possibility of a federal tax hike for all Americans in much the same way that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi primed the nation for the possibility of another stimulus package just a short time after the current stimulus legislation was passed earlier this year.
If a tax hike comes to fruition, it will impact everyone during our recession-torn times, including the 90% of Americans that President Obama continuously promised tax relief for during the fall campaign.
If that is happens, is that enough to make the nation start parting ways with the popular president?
Even if new taxes are not instituted, an Obama- promoted push for a universal tax hike (ironically, to pay for universal health care, among other government projects), this president will take on the full risk of looking very much like the first President Bush roughly 20 years ago. A broken pledge on taxes would create a very unfavorable record for the president, one that would include misgauging the high-water mark for national unemployment, mishandling the funding need for “Cash for Clunkers” (by some 200%)