Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is Obama Just More Bush?

In the waning days of the 2008 presidential campaign as the Middle East seemed to calm down and the American economy stumbled, candidate Obama attempted to draw a clear distinction between himself and Senator John McCain.  He specifically stated that John McCain would be more of Bush's policies that caused the downfall of the American economy, while he would be just the opposite.

While we'll never know what John McCain would have done in the first 100 days of his 2009 presidency, it looks like Obama is more like Bush than he'd care to admit.

-- President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.

-- President Bush began a string of expensive financial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.

-- President Bush created a Medicare drug entitlement that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new government health care fund.

-- President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. President Obama would double it.

-- President Bush became the first president to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already increased this spending by 20 percent.

-- President Bush tilted the income tax burden more toward upper-income taxpayers. President Obama would continue that trend.

President Bush ran budget deficits averaging $300 billion annually. After harshly criticizing Bush’s budget deficits, President Obama proposed a budget that would run deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers and the troops return home from Iraq.

True conservatives, like myself, never considered Bush a conservative and have been critical of his fiscal policies all along.  What's puzzling is why liberals hated Bush so much.  From a fiscal standpoint, he was more like them than they could ever admit.


James' Muse April 28, 2009 at 7:24 PM  

I don't think he's "more Bush." He's just more moderate than people give him credit for. Which pretty much screws him over, because a center-left democrat is going to tick off the Repubs for being a little left, and is going to tick off the left for not being left enough. Take the torture issue: He doesn't want to prosecute, which ticks off the hard left, but the fact that he's even let the ACLU bring this stuff out from their Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit has ticked off the hard right.

He can win.

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