Monday, August 3, 2009

Trial Balloons Ad Nauseum

"The Obama administration on Monday quickly shot down a trial balloon it floated over the weekend that opened the possibility of new taxes on the middle class after the idea came under heavy fire from labor unions, liberal leaders and Republicans.

"In a television interview Sunday, senior Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers declined to rule out raising taxes on the middle class to pay for health care reform, prompting an uproar on Monday.

"In another television appearance that day, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said, 'We’re going to have to do what is necessary' to rein in the deficit, also declining to rule out new taxes.

"White House press secretary Robert Gibbs scrambled to backtrack on the idea during Monday’s briefing."
The Hill - August 3, 2009

"When it comes to finding a way to finance government-run health care, the administration of Barack Obama is floating a VAT trial balloon echoing that of President Bill Clinton in 1993.

"The Obama administration's VAT trial balloon is being floated by Kenneth Baer, spokesman for Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag, who was quoted in the Washington Post on Wednesday as saying a VAT is 'unlikely to be in the mix', but did not rule it out, despite Obama's central campaign promise not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000:

'While we do not want to rule any credible idea in or out as we discuss the way forward with Congress, the VAT tax, in particular, is popular with academics but highly controversial with policymakers'."
Reuters - May 28, 2009

From a Fox News Interview - July 2009:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any likelihood we're going to get a second stimulus?

SEN. MCCONNELL: Well, I think they're clearly floating a trial balloon. They're thinking about it. And you've got people like Larry Summers down at the White House, you know, throwing out the possibility. So they wanted to send up a trial balloon and see if it flew. I think, based on the evidence of the first one so far, I can't imagine they can pull this off.
Real Clear Politics

"A most significant 'trial balloon' was launched a few days ago when it was suggested that the wealthiest Americans be surtaxed to pay for the health care of those less well off. To say that created a firestorm is an understatement."
Las Vegas Sun - July 26, 2009

"The Obama administration appears to be floating trial balloons in news reports that the administration is readying a plan to relocate inmates from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba terrorist detention facility either to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas or an about-to-be-closed maximum security prison in Michigan."
Human Events - August 3, 2009

"Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel might have been floating a 'trial balloon' when he told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that a 'trigger option' could be a compromise approach to health care reform.

" 'The president wasn't talking about a trigger,' said Woolsey. And when Emanuel floated the idea, she said, 'the balloon blew up'.
Gabbr - July 9, 2009


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