More of the post-election mea culpas.

Sorry, my response remains the same, Disheartened Obamaphiles should just stop talking.

Add another to the list, Harvard Professor of Economics Greg Mankiw.

(emphasis mine)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

An Unfortunate Broken Promise

Back in 2008, when President Obama was running for his first term, he promised to be a post-partisan leader. While a Democrat, he said he would accept good ideas when they came from Republicans. At the time, I believed him, at least to some degree. And I wrote about it in this NY Times column.

Sadly, I was wrong. The short version of the story is this: As a candidate, President Obama campaigned on a platform of raising taxes on the rich. Yet he and his economic advisers also said they wanted to raise dividend taxes only slightly, from 15 to 20 percent. For reasons I explained in the Times article, keeping dividend taxes low was a position bolstered by good economics. Now, however, the president wants to raise dividend taxes to ordinary income tax rates (plus, for high-income taxpayers, the new tax of 3.8 percent that is part of the Obamacare legislation).

To be it another way, he campaigned as a moderate, willing to concede that the other party had some good ideas on tax policy. Once in office, he gave up on those ideas.

A similar thing happened with Bowles-Simpson. During his first term, he appointed a bipartisan panel, which concluded we could address our long-term fiscal problem with lower tax rates and a broader tax base. Now, the President goes around the country lambasting that approach.

Reasonable people can disagree about whether President Obama is a good or bad president. But the claim that he has tried to transcend partisanship and find a middle ground is just impossible to square with the facts.

Sadly, you were wrong about Obama, and we were right.

 
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