Video--Obama in 2009: ‘You Don’t Raise Taxes in a Recession’

Matt Cover | July 11, 2011 | 3:17pm EDT
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( – In an Aug. 5, 2009 interview with MSNBC, President Barack Obama said  it was bad economics to raise taxes in a recession. However, now the president is pushing for billions in new taxes as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

“You don’t raise taxes in a recession,” Obama told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.

Todd had asked Obama a question from Elkhart, Indiana resident Scott Ferguson who wanted Obama to explain why raising taxes in a recession could be good for the economy. Obama answered that it could not be good for the economy, saying it was just good economics not to raise taxes in a recession.

“First of all, he’s [Ferguson] right. Normally, you don’t raise taxes in a recession, which is why we haven’t and why we’ve instead cut taxes. So I guess what I’d say to Scott is – his economics are right. You don’t raise taxes in a recession. We haven’t raised taxes in a recession,” Obama said.

President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Now, however, Obama is proposing at least $400 billion in new taxes despite the fact that the economy has not recovered significantly since August 2009.

According to press reports, Obama is pushing for tax hikes as part of a deal with Republicans to raise the debt ceiling – the legal limit on federal borrowing – saying that raising taxes in a struggling economy is now the right thing to do.

“I believe we need a balanced approach,” Obama said in his weekly address June 9. “It means taking on spending in the tax code, spending on tax breaks and deductions for the wealthiest Americans.”

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