Much of the rhetoric of the Democratic primary campaign raised the question:Is Obama really a leftist? Or is he defeating Hillary Clinton by deceiving the Democratic electorate?
Fortunately for us, it appears that Obama is deceitful. This is a good thing. The best case of Obama is that his pledge not to import any toys from China is just as empty as Bill Clinton’s early promise not to deal with the Butchers of Beijing.
John McCain 2008 – John McCain for President
As Ben Smith reported yesterday, the Obama campaign recently brought Jason Furman on as a senior economic advisor. Smith notes that Furman wrote a lengthy defense of Wal-Mart in 2005, titled “Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story.” In it Furman denies that Wal-Mart is suppressing wages, or exploiting their employees. The fact “that more than 1.3 million Americans work at Wal-Mart demonstrates that its compensation is at least as good as the alternatives,” he says. And he adds that â€œthe available data is consistent with the premise that Wal-Mart pays wages that are comparable to the retail sector.â€
His new boss takes a different view. In 2006, Obama told Fortune that “Wal-Mart is making enormous profits, and yet it has chosen to go with low wages and diminished benefits.” And in 2007, Obama told union members that he won’t even shop at Wal-Mart because of their exploitation of American workers. Has Obama moderated his views on Wal-Mart or will Furman and he just agree to disagree?
Perhaps even more problematic for Obama, Furman, like John McCain, is also a vocal advocate for cutting the corporate tax rate. And yet just today Senator Obama attacked McCain’s proposal, saying it amounted to “$300 billion more in tax breaks and loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans.” This despite the fact that McCain’s approach not only has bipartisan support, but Senator Obama’s own economic policy director is part of the bipartisan consensus.
Presuming Obama has been lying, however, there still is the question of why someone should support a crypto-free-marketers when one can vote for McCain and get a real one. Tom, who has been trying to answer that question, is obviously happy. The New York Times has more.
Still, I’m glad to see stick the knife in the back of his union supporters. Obama’s path to the White House may be dishonorable and double-talking, but I’d take that over protectionist any day.