WASHINGTON — Throughout the campaign, Barack Obama made many promises to the American people. Msnbc.com has chosen 14 of these to explain, explore, and track. See if the new president keeps his word, and vote on his progress during the first 100 days.
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Obama’s words: “What I've said is I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans, 95 percent…if you make less than a quarter million dollars a year, then you will not see your income tax go up, your capital gains taxes go up, your payroll tax. Not one dime. And 95 percent of working families, 95 percent of you out there, will get a tax cut.”
The issue: In making this promise, President Barack Obama was trying to inoculate himself against the charge that he was a tax-raising liberal, a charge based in part on Obama’s pledge desire to rescind some of the tax cuts Congress enacted in 2001 and 2003.
Obama has argued lower taxes will help stimulate growth in the struggling economy.
Following through: On Feb. 17, Obama signed a $787 billion congressional stimulus package. Included in the plan is his signature "Making Work Pay" tax credit, which would provide $400 for individuals and $800 for couples. But that credit is phased out for individuals making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000.
On April 15, Obama repeated this low-tax message, reiterating his "clear promise that families that earn less than $250,000 will not see their taxes increase by a single dime."
Asked whether the president is confident that he can stick to that pledge, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, "He is. He is. He is."
The White House added a bevy of additional tax breaks in the stimulus package, including those geared toward college students, car buyers, first-time home buyers, and families with children.
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