There has been a good deal of to-and-froing between the presidential candidates on a variety of issues. But I think that Pete duPont's column in the WSJ (may be subscriber only) is an accurate summary of what President Obama's program would would be, isn't it (leaving aside the tendentious asides and commentary like "emboldening terrorists"):
So where is the new Obama administration likely to take us? Seven things seem certain:
The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.
Protectionism will become our national trade policy; free trade agreements with other nations will be reduced and limited.
Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."
Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).
Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.
The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.
Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.
These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. There will be many more public policy changes with similar goals—nationalized health care, Kyoto-like global-warming policies, and increased education regulation and spending.
Additional tax advantages for lower and middle income people will be enacted: a 10% mortgage tax credit that would average about $500 per household per year, a $4,000 tax credit for college tuition, a tax credit covering half of child-care expenses up to $6,000 per year, and even a $7,000 credit for purchase of a clean car.
This seems accurate in substance to me from what I know. Is it?
Those of us in the academy should be licking our chops at the $4000 tax credit for college tuition. It is amazing to me that no one has caught onto our scam that whenever they try to make college more "affordable" by raising government support for education we suppliers of higher education capture almost all of it in higher tuition and fees. So it seems like usually turns out to be less a reduction in the cost than a redistribution to the higher education industry.