Don't know much about economics--Obama edition

Michael Boskin:

What if I told you that a prominent global political figure in recent months has proposed: abrogating key features of his government's contracts with energy companies; unilaterally renegotiating his country's international economic treaties; dramatically raising marginal tax rates on the "rich" to levels not seen in his country in three decades (which would make them among the highest in the world); and changing his country's social insurance system into explicit welfare by severing the link between taxes and benefits?

The first name that came to mind would probably not be Barack Obama, possibly our nation's next president. Yet despite his obvious general intelligence, and uplifting and motivational eloquence, Sen. Obama reveals this startling economic illiteracy in his policy proposals and economic pronouncements. From the property rights and rule of (contract) law foundations of a successful market economy to the specifics of tax, spending, energy, regulatory and trade policy, if the proposals espoused by candidate Obama ever became law, the American economy would suffer a serious setback.

To be sure, Mr. Obama has been clouding these positions as he heads into the general election and, once elected, presidents sometimes see the world differently than when they are running. Some cite Bill Clinton's move to the economic policy center following his Hillary health-care and 1994 Congressional election debacles as a possible Obama model. But candidate Obama starts much further left on spending, taxes, trade and regulation than candidate Clinton. A move as large as Mr. Clinton's toward the center would still leave Mr. Obama on the economic left.


This table shows the impact of Obama's tax policy. If you are in a small business that sells goods and services to the rich, you have just lost over 30 percent of your potential business and possible more. As the yacht builders found in the early 90s, your business can be destroyed by Democrat attacks on the rich.

There is much more in Boskin's piece. Obama's trade policy make no sense. In fact it is the exact opposite of what we need to do. His policy will mean the loss of jobs for one of the most important sectors of the economy--exports. His oppostion to the Colomian Free Trade deal is inexplicable as is organized labor's opposition.


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