This time, it’s the Economist. They are just a bit skeptical of Obama and his economic views.
FOR a man who has placed hope at the centre of his campaign, Barack Obama can sound pretty darned depressing. As the battle for the Democratic nomination reaches a climax in Texas and Ohio, the front-runner’s speeches have begun to paint a world in which laid-off parents compete with their children for minimum-wage jobs while corporate fat-cats mis-sell dodgy mortgages and ship jobs off to Mexico. The man who claims to be a post-partisan centrist seems to be channelling the spirit of William Jennings Bryan, the original American populist, who thunderously demanded to know Upon which side shall the Democratic Party fightupon the side of the idle holders of idle capital or upon the side of the struggling masses?
There is no denying that for some middle-class Americans, the past few years have indeed been a struggle. What is missing from Mr Obama’s speeches is any hint that this is not the whole story: that globalisation brings down prices and increases consumer choice; that unemployment is low by historical standards; that American companies are still the world’s most dynamic and creative; and that Americans still, on the whole, live lives of astonishing affluence.
Both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama speak the same way on this, but it is Barack Obama who is seen as the change agent. Obama is seen as someone who can fix everything that is broken about America and close the inequities he sees between the working class and the people who employ the working class. It is a common refrain of the political party trying to gain the White House that the economy is bad and that working people are getting hosed, because, after all — if people are satisfied with the status quo, why change parties?
The Economist goes on to suggest that we ignore what Obama says about the bad rich people, because he’s not really a “capitalist-hating demogogue”. I agree that he’s not, but it’s hard to listen to Obama, Clinton, and Huckabee talking about corporations as evil and that punishing them would help the struggling middle class. They all believe that government can fix inequities that government was never meant to fix. This kind of mindset enables the fiscal chaos the federal budget is in.
The Democrats say that they will be more fiscally responsible, yet they have no plan for reforming the entitlements that keep us from getting a handle on federal spending. Yes, I realize that spending has been one of President’s Bush’s weaknesses, but I don’t see how Hillary and Barack’s new spending proposals get us where we need to be on the budget.
Even if we pull out of Iraq, there are still spending cuts and reforms to be made if we really want to see the kind of change Barack promises….
Unless these are the same kind of promises Democrats make (and don’t keep) every 4-8 years.