Barack Obama's signature plank throughout his campaign has been his threat to raise taxes on every business and those making more than $150,000 per year. Now, however, as the economy turns even worse, Obama embraces tax cuts as the way to salvation.
Here's what he had to say on ABC's This Week:
Mr. Stephanopoulos: "So even if we're in a recession next January, you come into office, you'll still go through with your tax increases?"
Senator Obama: "No, no, no, no, no. What I've said, George, is that even if we're still in a recession, I'm going to go through with my tax cuts. That's my priority."
Mr. Stephanopoulos: "But not the increases?"
Senator Obama: "I think we've got to take a look and see where the economy is. The economy is weak right now. The news with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, I think, along with the unemployment numbers, indicates that we're fragile. I want to accelerate those tax cuts through a second stimulus package, get more money into the pockets of ordinary Americans, see if we can stabilize the housing market, and then we're going to have to re-evaluate at the beginning of the year to see what kind of hole we're in."
Obama makes two critical points: The first is that tax cuts are the key to economic stimulus and growth, and the second is that putting "more money into the pockets of ordinary Americans" is more useful than Keynesian outlays. He's beginning to sound like an economic conservative.
But if Obama concedes that taxes are detrimental to the economy, the larger question, then, is why he would ever raise them. He's on the road to Damascus, but he still has more miles to go.