President Obama completely fumbles when George Stephanopolous asks him how he’d respond if a future president takes the same action on taxes that Obama has taken on immigration. Incredibly, Obama responds as if he’d never heard or thought of this argument before, stumbling blindly along immigration talking points without answering the actual question.
Stephanopolous asked: “How do you respond to the argument, a future president comes in and wants lower taxes. Doesn’t happen. Congress won’t do it; so he says ‘I’m not going to prosecute those who don’t pay capital gains tax.’”
“The truth of the matter is George,” said the President, haltingly, “The reason that we, have to do.. uhm prosecutorial discretion in immigration, is that we know, that we – are not even close to being able to deal with the folks who have been here a long time…” Obama then pivoted to immigration talking points, without addressing the original question.
“The vast majority of folks understand that they need to pay taxes, and when we conduct an audit, for example, we are selecting those folks who are most likely to be cheating,” said Obama. “We’re not going after millions and millions of people who everybody knows are here and were taking advantage of low wages as they’re mowing lawns or cleaning out bedpans, and looking the other way.”
“So you don’t think it’d be legitimate for a future president to make that argument?” Stephanopoulos said.
Obama: “With respect to taxes? Absolutely not.”
The question, which has been floating around the internet since Obama gave his immigration speech, deserves an answer, but the President would prefer to punt it seems.