Obama’s big shift?
The president told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly that he hasn’t shifted to the center. “I’m the same guy,” Obama says. Right, he’s the same guy — a guy who will try and push through as much of his left-of-center agenda as he can. If he had the votes, for instance, Obama would certainly be pushing a cap-and-trade energy plan or higher income taxes. But he doesn’t, so it’s time for Plan B.
And at the heart of that plan is winning reelection, a goal Obama apparently believes will be much easier if America’s CEOs aren’t railing against him. Conflicts with Corporate America cuts against the post-partisan mantle is his trying to reclaim.Thus his speech today to some 200 executives at the US Chamber of Commerce. But here is the thing:
1) Obama should try and make these folks, at least some of them, angry by taking away tax breaks and subsidies in exchange for a lower corporate tax rate.
2) Fundamentally, Obama is skeptical of markets which is why his way of embracing the private sector is via a grand, corporatist partnership with Big Business who will rent seek with the best of them. Established giants don’t want new competitors. They don’t want a constantly churning, entrepreneurial economy. The status quo is just fine for them, especially regulations that help preserve their advantage. Innovation can be a threat.
3) When Obama decides to rely on markets rather than government for allocating healthcare resources, then I will acknowledge a shift to the center.