Q. The first six weeks have given people a glimpse of your spending priorities. Are you a socialist as some people have suggested?
A. You know, let’s take a look at the budget – the answer would be no.
Q. Is there anything wrong with saying yes?
A. Let’s just take a look at what we’ve done. We’ve essentially said that, number one, we’re going to reduce non-defense discretionary spending to the lowest levels in decades. So that part of the budget that doesn’t include entitlements and doesn’t include defense – that we have the most control over – we’re actually setting on a downward trajectory in terms of percentage of G.D.P. So we’re making more tough choices in terms of eliminating programs and cutting back on spending than any administration has done in a very long time. We’re making some very tough choices.
What we have done is in a couple of critical areas that we have put off action for a very long time, decided that now is the time to ask. One is on health care. As you heard in the health care summit yesterday, there is uniform belief that the status quo is broken and if we don’t do anything, we will be in a much worse place, both fiscally as well as in terms of what’s happening to families and businesses than if we did something.
The second area is on energy, which we’ve been talking about for decades. Now, in each of those cases, what we’ve said is, on our watch, we’re going to solve problems that have weakened this economy for a generation. And it’s going to be hard and it’s going to require some costs. But if you look on the revenue side what we’re proposing, what we’re looking at is essentially to go back to the tax rates that existed during the 1990s when, as I recall, rich people were doing very well. In fact everybody was doing very well. We have proposed a cap and trade system, which could create some additional costs, but the vast majority of that we want to give back in the form of tax breaks to the 95 percent of working families.
So if you look at our budget, what you have is a very disciplined, fiscally responsible budget, along with an effort to deal with some very serious problems that have been put off for a very long time. And that I think is exactly what I proposed during the campaign. We are following through on every commitment that we’ve made, and that’s what I think is ultimately going to get our economy back on track.
The fact that this is even a legitimate question that one of the most Obama-friendly question would ask is frightening.
But it makes me wonder if Obama is going to cut off access to the New York Times.
That's what happened when a reporter, Barbara West, from WFTV asked then Vice Presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, "Is Barack Obama a marxist?" and asked if Obama would lead the U.S. to become "a socialist country much like Sweden."
Then campaign's response then was to cut off WFTV from all subsequent interviews. "This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
Somehow I doubt Obama will cut off access for the New York Times like he did with WFTV.
Cutting off the New York Times would be like purposely tripping the last place kid in a Special Olympics footrace.
After all, The Atlantic discussed the demise of the print New York Times by 2010.