During his 2008 campaign, then Senator Obama, made many promises. One of which was his promise to let the Bush tax cuts for high-income earners expire and make permanent the cuts for low-income earners. His proclaimed support for the middle class really helped to drive his success in 2008.
Rather than letting the Bush tax cuts expire as he had promised, Obama felt it would be better to use the tax cuts as a bargaining chip and extended the tax cuts for high income earners for another two years. This enraged many in his progressive base who wanted to see this promise fulfilled. Some may argue that he simply delayed the expiration of these tax cuts in an effort to achieve other goals, and he is still intending to let them expire eventually… but when? Odds are he is not willing to throw away one of his major bargaining chips, so there is a chance that he’ll use it again, and again.
At the very least the tax cuts now will not be scheduled to expire until well into the next presidential term. With the 2012 elections fast approaching we must consider whether Obama will even be in a position to let the tax cuts expire the second time around; even if he wins the 2012 election, he may still choose to use the Bush tax cuts as a bargaining chip again. He could have given middle class families a permanent tax cut and eliminated the tax cuts for the wealthy; instead he threw it away to make a transient deal. I consider this promise broken, especially when you consider his broken promise not to raise taxes on families earning less than $250,000 per year.