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Feinting Right

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Election ’08: The last presidential debate on Wednesday revealed what will likely be Barack Obama’s final weeks’ strategy — to sound like a conservative. Voters should see right through it.

Read More: Election 2008

“Let’s help families right away by providing them a tax cut. . . .

“We don’t want to waste taxpayer money. . . . We’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments . . .

“What I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut. . . . I want to go through the federal budget line by line, page by page, programs that don’t work, we should cut . . .

“We should look at offshore drilling. . . .

“I believe in free trade.”

Ronald Reagan might have delivered those lines, not an erstwhile urban community organizer raring to transform America.

Republican nominee John McCain’s best moment during the final debate on Long Island, N.Y., was this:

“I admire so much Sen. Obama’s eloquence. And you really have to pay attention to words. He said, ‘we will look at offshore drilling.’ Did you get that? ‘Look at.’ ”

We heard a lot in the primaries from Barack Obama about electric geek-mobiles and windmills and solar panels. By the time he had his party’s nomination for president sewn up, however, Americans were demanding drilling. So for purposes of neutralizing the issue, Obama seemed to concede, “OK, let’s drill.”

But when you parse his words carefully, you find wiggle room through which he could easily drive one of those plug-in vehicles.

“You really have to pay attention to words” should be the rule for exposing Obama. The Illinois senator shrewdly understands, for instance, that one of the appeals of both the Reagan and Bush tax cuts was that they were cuts for everyone who paid taxes.

And so he promises to cut taxes for almost everyone — 95% of Americans, he claims — when in fact he proposes refundable tax credits as disguised welfare payments for people with incomes so low they already pay no taxes.

He warned that “we’ve been living beyond our means,” yet plans $293 billion in new annual spending, including at least $100 billion for health insurance alone. Even health experts who favor a single-payer system say the scheme has no meaningful cost containment.

Barack “I believe in free trade” Obama opposes the free trade deal with our ally, Colombia. The pact means a billion-dollar tariff cut on U.S. goods to create jobs for Americans.

His rationale for standing against it: Colombian “labor leaders have been targeted for assassination,” therefore “we have to stand for human rights . . . which is why, for example, I supported the Peruvian Free Trade Agreement.” He and running mate Sen. Joe Biden missed the vote on the Peru pact; close Obama adviser Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., voted against it.

As for Peru, the State Department reports “abuse of detainees and inmates by police and prison security forces,” along with “harsh prison conditions . . . attacks on the media by local authorities . . . violence and discrimination against women; violence against children, including sexual abuse; trafficking in persons.”

So the human rights alibi doesn’t cut it. Does Obama, like so many other Democrats in Congress, resent the Bush administration working with Colombia to fight guerrilla narco-terrorists?

When Americans enter the voting booth, they would do well to think not of Obama’s cleverly misleading words, but of his record as Congress’ most liberal senator.


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