Top aides won't rule out middle-class tax hikes

President Obama's two top economic advisers will not rule out a middle-class tax hike to pay for either the federal deficit or healthcare reform.

Obama pledged repeatedly during the campaign that he would not raise taxes on the middle class, but remarks yesterday by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Directory Larry Summers suggest the door is still open:
Geithner and Summers both sidestepped questions on Obama's intentions about taxes. Geithner said the White House was not ready to rule out a tax hike to reduce the federal deficit; Summers said Obama's proposed health care overhaul needs funding from somewhere.

"There is a lot that can happen over time," Summers said, adding that the administration believes "it is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out, no matter what."

[snip]

"If we want an economy that's going to grow in the future, people have to understand we have to bring those deficits down. And it's going to be difficult, hard for us to do. And the path to that is through health care reform," Geithner said. "We're not at the point yet where we're going to make a judgment about what it's going to take."

Suggesting healthcare reform might require a middle class tax increase just as lawmakers are limping back to their districts for the August recess? Whoops...