Friday, March 27, 2009

Déjà vu

Greg Mankiw notes that history seems to be repeating itself, with President Barack Obama apparently set to follow in Bill Clinton's footsteps by abandoning his promised middle class tax cut:
President Obama's budget chief hinted Wednesday that the president's signature campaign issue -- a middle-class tax cut -- will not likely survive a budget battle with Democrats on Capitol Hill. On a conference call with reporters in advance of the president's trip to the Hill to speak before the Senate Democratic caucus, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag indicated that, while 98 percent of the budget mark-ups in the House and Senate are on par with the administration's budget blueprint, some campaign trail promises, like middle-class tax cuts, may get left on the cutting room floor.
This, of course, isn't the first time that Obama has taken a page from the Clinton playbook. In any case it is absolutely amazing that in an era when money is being spent on anything and everything that there is no money available to fund the tax cut, a focal point of Obama's campaign. They even had a website dedicated to the issue --

No one should be surprised here, Democrats hate tax cuts. Its antithetical to their beliefs. After all, tax cuts deprive the government of revenue that politicians can play around with. All you have to understand is that taxes are the lifeblood of government and Democrats are the party of more government. That's why the last Democrat president to cut taxes was JFK (OK, Bill Clinton cut capital gains taxes but that was an idea put forth by Congressional Republicans, not the White House).

Anyone harboring any illusions that Barack Obama is anything other than a traditional leftist needs to dispense with them immediately. He isn't a centrist. He isn't a pragmatist. He isn't the follower of some "third way." He's a dyed in the wool Democrat that believes in more government as the solution to all of society's ills.

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