Barackrobatics 101: Dimewatch

We scholars of Barackrobatics use sophisticated analytical tools (primarily the Firefox 'Find' Functionality) to discover trickery in the president's rhetoric. So, given the transcript of the State of the Union speech, we have …

And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person, not a single dime.
As usual, when the president says "dime", there's flimflam involved. Two points:
  • Note the difference from his campaign pledge:
    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.
    As the AP's Calvin Woodward pointed out, that "firm pledge" lasted a few months, as long as it took Congress to legislate a tax increase for him to sign.

  • That wasn't an income tax increase, however, so Obama's SOTU claim is technically true. But the lack of income tax increases hasn't been due to Obama's lack of trying. David Boaz on the "voracious" attempts to suck money into goverment hands:

    Last year I tried to compile a list of all the taxes President Obama and his allies were maneuvering to impose. But each week brings new ideas. Just recently we’ve heard about a bank tax, applying the Medicare tax to capital gains and other “passive” or “unearned” income, raising the Medicare tax rate, raising or broadening the capital gains tax, an income tax “surtax,” a tax on tanning – and of course the tax on private health insurance to pay for the expansion of government insurance has moved to the top of the list.

    But there's more at the link.

There were other feats of Barackrobatics in the speech. Calling the bank tax a "fee":
To recover the rest [of the TARP funds], I've proposed a fee on the biggest banks.
And when is a tax increase not a tax increase?
But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, for investment fund managers, and for those making over $250,000 a year.
Hey, it's not a tax increase! We're just not continuing your tax cut!

[Previous discussions of Obama's use of the word "dime" here, here, here, here, and here. Not that we're obsessive.]