Obama: The New Republican

Well this guy isn’t walking the walk or talking the talk of a spendthrift Democrat. President-elect Obama came out with some talk on government and deficits that would have been more expected from, oh say Ronald Reagan.

In, perhaps a more detailed statement than has been seen so far, Mr. Obama acknowledged that the fiscal stimulus plan, whatever it might be, has to consider an exit strategy as well.

Mr. Obama sought to distinguish between the need to run what is likely to be record-setting deficits for several years and the necessity to begin bringing them down markedly in subsequent years. Even as he prepares a stimulus plan that is expected to total nearly $800 billion in new spending and tax cuts over the next two years, he said he would make sure the money was wisely spent, and he pledged to work with Congress to enact spending controls and efficiency measures throughout the federal budget.

“We’re not going to be able to expect the American people to support this critical effort unless we take extraordinary steps to ensure that the investments are made wisely and managed well,” Mr. Obama said, speaking about the dire fiscal outlook after meeting with his economic team for a second straight day.

In his most explicit language on the subject since winning the election, Mr. Obama sought to reassure lawmakers and the financial markets that he was aware of the long-term dangers of running huge deficits and would take steps to limit and eventually reduce them.

It sounds like he is getting not only good advice from his team but taking it as well. He went on to make a statement that one can only hope he lives up to.

“When the American people spoke last November, they were demanding change — change in policies that helped deliver the worst economic crisis that we’ve see since the Great Depression,” Mr. Obama told reporters at his transition offices. He added, “They were demanding that we restore a sense of responsibility and prudence to how we run our government.”

Well there you have it. Those are hardly the words of a liberal Democrat. In fact, they are words that might well put him at odds with his party and box him in years from now. Nevertheless, they are the words of a man who seems intent on changing the status quo. In fact, they sound very much to me like words that someone who might be about to deliver a bit of tough love to the entire country would say.

Whether or not he can pull this off in the face of a decidedly liberal (to say the least) Congress is problematic. It is going to take extraordinary powers of communication to overcome their populist rhetoric. Of course, politics will enter in as well and in the end, Obama is a politician. Maybe more, but for the time being that’s all we can take him for.

I won’t tell you who I voted for. If you read this blog much at all, you know that I am a free market, capitalism first sort of person. I will tell you that at first blush this guy is saying some things that surprise me. 

more: here

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