Huge eight-page article on Obama's economic views

Saturday, August 23, 2008

From Wikipedia: This graphic shows the distribution of gross annual household income. The floors above the top black line represent those households with incomes of or exceeding $100,000. The floors below the bottom black line represent those households below the poverty threshold. In order to live on the top floor of the American income strata, a household's annual gross income must exceed $200,000.

The New York Times has published an article encompassing eight pages (eight screens) on Obama's views on the economy, since he's not easy to pin down in simplistic terms as McCain is:
John McCain’s economic vision, as he has laid it out during the campaign, amounts to a slightly altered version of Republican orthodoxy, with tax cuts at the core. Obama, on the other hand, has more-detailed proposals but a less obvious ideology.
That's where the title for the article comes from: "Barack Obama, a Free-Market-Loving, Big-Spending, Fiscally Conservative Wealth Redistributionist".

With this much detail this is probably the first article to refer to for those that want to know in concrete terms what an Obama administration would mean. Here are a few parts I found interesting:
I have spent much of this year trying to get a handle on what is sometimes called Obamanomics and have come away thinking that Obama does have an economic ideology. It’s just not a completely familiar one. Depending on how you look at it, he is both more left-wing and more right-wing than many people realize.
All of this raises the question of what will happen to the deficit. Obama’s aides optimistically insist he will reduce it, thanks to his tax increases on the affluent and his plan to wind down the Iraq war. Relative to McCain, whose promised spending cuts are extremely vague, Obama does indeed look like a fiscal conservative.
On the deficit:
During our conversation, Obama made it clear that he considered the deficit to be only one of the long-term problems requiring immediate attention, and he sounded more worried about the others, like global warming, health care and the economic hangover that could follow the housing bust. Tellingly, he said that while he admired what Clinton did, he might have been more open to Reich’s argument — even in 1993. “I still would have probably made a slightly different choice than Clinton did,” Obama said. “I probably wouldn’t have been as obsessed with deficit reduction.”
On Reaganomics:
In Obama’s second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” he goes further: “Reagan’s central insight — that the liberal welfare state had grown complacent and overly bureaucratic, with Democratic policy makers more obsessed with slicing the economic pie than with growing that pie — contained a good deal of truth.”


The partial embrace of Reaganomics is a typical bit of Obama’s postpartisan veneer. In a single artful sentence, he dismissed the old liberals, aligned himself with the Bill Clinton centrists and did so by reaching back to a conservative icon who remains widely popular. But the words have significance at face value too. Compared with many other Democrats, Obama simply is more comfortable with the apparent successes of laissez-faire economics.
And that's just in the first three pages. Definitely give it a good read through if you want to get an idea of how an Obama administration would handle the economy.


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