Thursday, July 2, 2009

Obama campaign promises -Ahead of Obama Reversal Curse

July 2 - Two days ago, I blogged that Obama was reversing himself on a number of campaign promises. The Wall Street Journal agrees. In an article today, “Obama Moderates Health-Care Stance,” Laura Meckler had this to say

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama, after picking fights with rivals over health care during the election campaign, is signaling flexibility on many of his previous stances as he tries to put a health-care deal together.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama criticized Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for proposing that all Americans be required to get health insurance. Now he says he is open to the idea.

He ran some 47,000 TV ads criticizing Republican candidate John McCain for wanting to tax employee health benefits and cut Medicare spending. Mr. Obama has now signaled openness to taxing such benefits, and has proposed his own Medicare cuts.

In addition, the White House isn't ruling out the possibility that families earning less than $250,000 a year might see higher taxes if they have generous health benefits that become subject to new taxes. During the campaign, Mr. Obama had vowed not to raise taxes on any families earning less than $250,000.

Asked about the shift in positions, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said the president would prefer that Congress adopt his health-care plan. But "there is recognition across the board that we can't wait another year to get this done," he said.

I suppose the lesson here is that President Obama will do almost anything to get his health care bill passed this year. The health bill is, after all, the biggest pillar of his domestic policy. Like Garrison Keillor's Norwegian farmer in Lake Woebegone, President Obama will do what needs to be done.


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