President Obama is holding a press conference today before resuming budget negotiations with John Boehner and the Republicans. At the press conference, Obama will to “use the bully pulpit” to push his “deficit reduction plan” that includes massive tax increases.
During the subsequent meeting, Republicans might want to remind Obama what he said in 2009.
The Weekly Standard features an article about President Obama’s 2009 interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd during which Obama warned against raising taxes on anybody — even the rich — during a recession. I found the transcript on MSNBC’s website:
Todd: Let me jump to another topic, Scott Ferguson, he’s upset about taxes, he says: “Explain how raising taxes on anyone during a deep recession is going to help with the economy.” And he actually wants to you look at historical markers where this has been — you say, you know, where this has been a helpful thing coming out of a recession.
Obama: Well, first of all, he is right. Normally, you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we have instead cut taxes. So I guess what I would say to Scott is his economics are right, you don’t raise taxes in a recession. We haven’t raised taxes in a recession. We don’t have a…
Todd: But you might for health care. You might for the highest — for some of the wealthiest.
Obama: The — we have not proposed a tax hike for the wealthy that would take effect in the middle of a recession. Even the proposals that have come out of Congress, which, by the way, were different from the proposals I put forward, still wouldn’t kick in until after the recession was over.
So he is absolutely right, the last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up — take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.
And since there’s no telling how long this recession/depression might go on, talking tax increases is a bad idea according to 2009 Obama — just as 2006 Obama considered raising the debt ceiling to be a failure of leadership. 2011 Obama disagrees with both of them.