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Election 2020: When Bernie Sanders announced on Tuesday that he was running for president, the only surprising thing was how much competition he'll have on the far left. The current crop of 2020 candidates is so liberal, in fact, that it makes the Barack Obama of 2008 look positively right wing.
When Obama first ran, he tried to position himself as something of a fiscal moderate.
Obama - Orgy - Spending - President - George
Obama complained about "the orgy of spending" under President George W. Bush. He pledged that all his spending plans were more than offset with spending cuts.
"What I've done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut," he said.
Obama the Moderate?
He attacked Hillary Clinton for wanting to mandate the purchase of health care, and John McCain for proposing a tax on employer-provided health benefits. About the latter, Obama warned that it would unravel the country's employer-based private health insurance system.
Kind - Change
"That, I don't think, is the kind of change that we need," he said.
Instead, Obama said he'd focus on lowering health costs to make insurance a more affordable option.
Tax - Hike - Obama - Rate - %
As for the rich, the only tax hike Obama promised was to return the top rate to 39.6%, where it had been under President Bill Clinton.
Obama also promised regulatory reform and tax cuts for the middle class. On child care, he talked only about boosting the child tax credit to make it more affordable for parents.
Immigration - Obama - Border - Security - Enforcement
On immigration, Obama promised to improve border security. "We need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace," he said.
Obama promised only to fill in the financing gap for Social Security, but never mentioned expanding benefits.
Course - Obama - Promises - Others
Of course, Obama betrayed many of those promises and failed to keep others. And he was much more liberal than he let on.
Nevertheless, were he campaigning on his 2008 proposals today, he'd likely be written off as...
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