Mitt Romney argued Tuesday that President Obama has not yet raised taxes during his presidency, contradicting a line of attack congressional Republicans have lobbed against the president for years.
“I admit this, he has one thing he did not do in his first four years, he’s said he’s going to do in his next four years, which is to raise taxes,” Romney told a crowd at a campaign stop in Vandalia, Ohio.
The Republican nominee’s assessment is mostly accurate — as president, Obama temporarily cut taxes for working families via the 2009 stimulus package and signed an extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts until the end of this year. He intends to let the lower rates expire on incomes above $250,000 expire in January 2013.
Averting a tax increase on high incomes is a top Republican goal.
But Obama has enacted a variety of targeted tax hikes in other legislation. The Affordable Care Act, for instance, includes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes on insurance companies, high-cost health plans and high earners, as well as tax penalties on individuals and employers for noncompliance with mandates. In early 2009, Obama signed an excise tax on tobacco.
Congressional Republicans have frequently criticized Obama for what they call “job-killing tax hikes” in Obamacare — an argument Romney undercut on Tuesday.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.