You wonder how government officials do it. Self-respecting professionals who enjoyed a good reputation and seem like decent types come to Washington, go to work for an administration, and are required, as part of their job, to propound nonsense. More than nonsense, really — lies. A case in point is Christina Romer’s appearance on State of the Union. John King played for her a tape of then candidate Barack Obama, declaring: “I can make a firm pledge: Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” King and Romer then had this exchange:
KING: Does that stand as we head into year two of the Obama administration and you try to make the difficult choices to start to bring the deficit under control? Does that promise still stand, not any of your taxes if you’re under $250,000?
ROMER: I mean, yes. And let me talk, though, about the — the bigger issue, which is, you know, even — to the degree that we, of course, care deeply about the deficit, and you’re right. In 2010, that is going to be something very much that the president is focusing on and talking about.
Say what? No taxes on those making less than $250,000. The Senate bill, which Obama seems to support, has plenty of them. The Cadillac tax on those with generous health-care plans is only one of them. (Here’s a handy list of all the proposed taxes on families making less than $250,000.)
Romer seems like a nice lady, and her research before coming to the Obama administration is well regarded by conservatives and liberals alike. She does herself — and the administration she serves — a disservice to mislead the public. One wonders, given Romer’s comments, just how Obama and the rest of his minions are going to respond to the tax issue. Perhaps like the C-SPAN flip-flop, they’ll just refuse to talk about it.