James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Obama’s big shift?

February 7, 2011

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.

Comments

Best most concise article I have read recently!! Obummer is cooked and cannot run for another term. He and his ilk have shown their true colors and there is no going back. The simple fact is he has proven to be a typical appeasement artist leading to WWIII starting this summer in the ME he clearly lost! Sorry, but that is what you get when voting for Black Liberation Theology and historic Black American antisemitism. Just look at his best friend Reverend Wright, Louis Farrakhan, George Soros, Al Sharpton etc. Besides I believe he now has to provide Proof of Live Birth to run again and seriously doubt that will happen….even Chris Matthews want to know!

Posted by tukarabber | Report as abusive
 

I think Obama is smarting up.He sees the way the right wing
use the old lie and scare policy,its easy to prey on peoples weakness, especially after the bush era rape and pillage
campaign.It was so strange for me (european)to watch
scara failin(sara palin)talk about the good old days of the regan regime, as if the US prospered from that era,it is sad
to see a once great nation fail.Looking at current stats
you now fit in with 3rd world nations in education,health,
no new major infra-structure,Greed and ignorance toward your
own people,racist undertones,archaic gun laws,to put it in context,if you buy 2 hand guns in tha US,ATF and policehave to be notified,but if you buy 20 AK47s you dont,??I wish you success (you need it)

Posted by radray | Report as abusive
 

This from the author who thinks Reagan was a conservative. Obama has cut taxes for billioniares, signed a stimulus bill that was over 30% tax cuts, increased defense spending, expanded the War on Terror, surged in Afghanistan, signed a Republican health care bill, made the Too Big to Fail banks whole, proposed off-shore oil drilling, proposed cutting entitlements, frozen government pay, and just hired the CEO of General Electric and a Chief of Staff from JP Morgan Chase. You think he’s “left of center”? Well, perhaps. You think Paul Ryan is moderate.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

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