Last week, John McCain made a big deal out of the fact that Joe Biden suddenly lowered the annual salary number below which no one would be taxed under the Obama plan from $250,000 to $150,000. That gave added heft to his argument that Obama is pursuing redistributionist policies that will have a negative effect on efforts to help the economy grow. But that was Biden mouthing off, after all, something it’s easy to take not all that seriously. What is more serious, and more telling, is that without making any admissions of a change, the Obama campaign as a whole is now explicitly acknowledging the $250,000 floor for tax increases is no longer operative. Instead, both in a commercial released last week and in last night’s infomercial, the number that is now being used is $200,000.
Granted, the absolute number of people in this country who make between $200,000 and $250,000 is relatively small, but that is not the issue. What this suggests is that these plans are subject to downward revision in a way that will take in far more taxpayers than Obama spent more than a year promising they would. It’s not clear why he didn’t just continue to prevaricate about this until Election Day, but facts are facts, a changed policy is a changed policy, and taxpayers under that $200,000 threshold will have to judge whether the promise to increase taxes on others but not on them is to be believed.