Posted on August 23, 2008

Will Obama’s Middle Class Tax Cuts Go the Way of Clinton’s?

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

Remember the 1992 election? President Bush was sitting in the White House. A well-spoken Democrat—a fresh face on the national scene—came along and promised change from business-as-usual. He avoided the usual partisan rhetoric and said his goal was to bring us all together. He went out of his way to reach out to Middle America and, among other things, promised a middle class tax cut.

Sound familiar?

Once Bill Clinton was elected, he quickly forgot about his promise and abandoned the tax break for the middle class. Will Barack Obama do the same?

Yes, if he listens to economist Robert Solow. While enjoying a meeting of Nobel laureates in posh Lake Constance in southern Germany, Solow stated that while rolling back tax cuts for the rich is a good idea, the proceeds shouldn’t be funneled to the middle class. “The government needs the money,” he said. It “ought not to be using it to promote consumption.”

Consumption, as in food and clothing.

So far, Solow has not been advising Obama. His words, however, have traditionally carried great weight in Democratic circles, and he is a staunch backer of Obama.

Who will Obama listen to if he is elected, his constituents or an elitist economist favored by many bigwigs of his party? We shall see.

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