Discuss as:

Romney: Did Obama raise taxes?

Romney has an ad out saying Obama and Democrats will and already have raised taxes on the middle class.

Fact check: President Obama did raise some taxes in his first term, cut them by more, and imposes new taxes that will take effect by 2014 to help pay for his health-care bill. Obama has raised taxes on cigarettes (to pay for the children’s health care program) and tanning (used in part to pay for the president’s health-care plan). The president also cut taxes by even more. But he DID NOT raise income taxes; in fact, he extended the Bush tax cuts (which reduced revenues by about $800 billion), temporarily cut the payroll tax, and the stimulus, which was comprised of 40 percent tax cuts, cut taxes for 90 percent of the country.

On balance, as one fact checker wrote: “just about every one of the more than 100 million taxpayers, no matter how little they made, has ended up with at least $1,000 in tax cuts under Obama in the past three years.” The only people who have seen an effective tax increase were unemployed smokers and unemployed tanners. By next year and 2014, however, some other tax increases will go into effect to pay for the health-care plan, including higher Medicare taxes, a surcharge on investment income of the wealthy, and taxes on medical devices. All of that could raise as much as $400 billion. And, of course, the Supreme Court determined that the mandate, requiring all those without health insurance buy it or pay a fine, a tax.

The charge is also one that runs counter to what Romney said last week: “I admit this, [President Obama] has one thing he did not do in his first four years — he’s said he’s going to do in the next four years, which is to raise taxes.”

Romney’s campaign later walked that back in a statement: “President Obama has raised taxes on millions of middle-class Americans during his first term in office,” spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement. “Governor Romney was clearly communicating about an additional tax increase President Obama is proposing on American small businesses that will jeopardize over 700,000 jobs. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will stop the President’s tax increases, create 12 million new jobs, and turn our economy around.”

“Young illegal immigrants who receive temporary work permits to stay in the United States under an executive order issued by President Barack Obama would not be deported under a Mitt Romney administration, the GOP presidential hopeful told The Denver Post Monday.”

Romney said, “"The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased," Romney said. "Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."

He also promised to work on immigration reform in his first year: "I actually will propose a piece of legislation which will reform our immigration system to improve legal immigration so people don't have to hire lawyers to figure out how to get here legally," Romney said. "The president promised in his first year, his highest priority, that he would reform immigration and he didn't. And I will."

Romney also signaled he may be aggressive in the debate with Obama: "I think what's going to happen in this debate is each of us will get the opportunity to describe our pathway forward for America. And for the last several weeks and months, the president has dramatically distorted my own views. I look forward to the debate so people will understand what I actually believe."

The shift in tone on immigration comes the same day as a Latino Decisions poll showing Romney down by 52 points with Hispanics. From the Latino Decision poll post: “The now infamous video of Romney speaking at a fundraiser, appearing dismissive of poor and many working-class people, may have helped solidify Obama’s support and alienated a handful of voters who might otherwise have considered voting for Romney. His joke, captured on the same recording, that he would have “a better shot at winning” the election if he were of Mexican heritage surely rubbed many Mexican-Americans and other Hispanics the wrong way, as did his dire warning of disaster for the nation should Latino voters increasingly support Democratic candidates. Taken together, Romney’s “Let Them Eat Cake” moment (complete with sounds of silverware clinking on china at the $50,000-a-plate event) and his specific references to Latinos, may have reinforced the perception that he is out of touch with the vast majority of Latino voters.”

In addition to immigration, Romney was also pushing card check, something that hasn’t been heard since the GOP primary season. Here’s what he said yesterday, per NBC’s Garrett Haake: “If the president succeeds in something he’s pushing very hard, which is something known as card check, and for those of you not familiar with it, it’s this: it says we’re going to take away from the American worker the right to vote by secret ballot as to whether or not they want to have a union. And on that basis-- on that basis, a guy or a gal could be in their backyard barbequing with their kids and some people could come up and say, here sign this statement. We want you to vote where we can watch you vote. In a setting like that you’re going to see coercion and you’re going see small businesses overtaken by unions, and I’ll tell you this, entrepreneurs aren’t going want to start a business, if that’s the case. If card check goes in place, it will kill America’s entrepreneurial economy. What the president is doing is bowing to the demands of Big Labor, to his big contributors. It’s wrong. It would kill our economy. I’ll stop that in its track. We must have people have the right to vote by secret ballot.”