Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What's in the Box? Part I: The Economy.

The Left has bought the Obama Mystery Box, so let's see what's in it. We start with Obama's vision for intervening in the free market...I mean "investing in America's future". Now, the proposed plans of presidential candidates are usually worth less than the paper they are printed on, nevertheless, here are the highlights of his plan on the economy, from the Obama website:

The Problems -

  • no real wage growth
  • inflation in necessities, health care, housing costs, and college education
  • historically low savings rate
  • "tax cuts for wealthy instead of the middle class"
The Solutions -

  • Taxes: $1000 tax cuts for "working families" - i.e. Bush Stimulus II, simplify tax filings for "middle class Americans", uh...that's it on taxes, folks.
  • Trade: "fight for fair trade", oppose CAFTA, enforce labor and environment standards, use WTO to stop subsidies and import barriers, amend NAFTA, displaced worker training...well, good luck with all of that.
  • Tech: more money for R&D, more money for education, training, and "workforce development", money for alternative energy and automakers, more money for youth jobs, and more money for many other things.
  • Labor: support more expansive labor organization, increase minimum wage (which means higher labor contract wage baselines).
  • Homeownership: 10% "universal mortgage credit" (huh?), crack down on crooked lendors (and borrowers?), better disclosure, create forclosure rescue fund. Credit card reform , expand small consumer loans, wipe out bankruptcies caused by medical expenses. Is your wallet feeling lighter?
  • "Work - Family Balance": expand family leave to small businesses, money to expand paid leave, more money for afterschool programs, expand child and dependent care tax credit, "protect against caregiver discrimination", expand flex-time work programs.

The "plan" is a mish-mosh of noble-sounding platitudes with a generous helping of pledges to Democrat interest-groups - which means lots of increased spending. Nor is there discussion as to how "The Plan" specifically addresses "The Problems".

And the Senator's experience on this issue? He has to reach back to his state senate record in order to produce sufficient padding of accomplishment for his resume on the economy.

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