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Morning Bell: Congratulations, President-Elect Obama

Posted By Conn Carroll On November 5, 2008 @ 10:09 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

After a hard-fought campaign nearly two years in the making, last night a candidate was elected president of the United States. That candidate promised to “cut taxes for 95% of workers and their families [1],” expand the Army by 65,000 and the Marines by 27,000 [2], and enact “a net spending cut [3]” for the federal government. Lower taxes, a strong defense and shrinking the size of government. These are core conservative beliefs. Anyone who claims yesterday’s election was the end of conservatism simply was not paying attention to the campaign.

Despite a political environment that heavily favored the party of the left, Barack Obama still managed only a 5-point margin of victory [4]. Compare that to a true conservative, Ronald Reagan, who bested his liberal opponents by 9 points in 1980 [5] and by 18 points in 1984 [6]. According to last night’s exit polls, Americans who voted yesterday are 34% conservative, 44% moderate and only 22% liberal [7]. As Newsweek admitted earlier this year: “Should Obama win, he will have to govern a nation that is more instinctively conservative than it is liberal [8].”

There is no doubt the Republican Party has lost its way. Non-defense federal spending has risen 3.74% under President Bush compared to 2.93% under President Bill Clinton and 1% under Reagan [9]. Federal spending now tops $25,000 per household annually [10], and the coming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs threaten to add another $12,000 per household per year [11]. Conservatives have a lot of work to do.

One of the many tasks conservatives will happily perform is making sure Obama keeps his promises to lower taxes, strengthen the military and cut spending. The Los Angeles Times reports [12]: “[S]ome Democrats are already debating whether Obama’s promised middle-class tax cut should be scaled back to lessen the hit to the budget. ‘He should be able to persuade the country that some promises are going to have to be put on hold,’ said Will Marshall of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.” In just 76 days, we are going to start finding out if the next president’s actions will match his rhetoric.

Quick Hits:


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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/11/05/morning-bell-congratulations-president-elect-obama/

URLs in this post:

[1] cut taxes for 95% of workers and their families: http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/10/wsj-obamas-tax.html

[2] expand the Army by 65,000 and the Marines by 27,000: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/54605.html

[3] a net spending cut: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/debates/transcripts/third-presidential-debate.html

[4] still managed only a 5-point margin of victory: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/president/

[5] by 9 points in 1980: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election,_1980

[6] by 18 points in 1984: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election,_1984

[7] 34% conservative, 44% moderate and only 22% liberal: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26843704

[8] Should Obama win, he will have to govern a nation that is more instinctively conservative than it is liberal: http://www.newsweek.com/id/164656

[9] has risen 3.74% under President Bush compared to 2.93% under President Bill Clinton and 1% under Reagan: http://www.foundry.org/2008/05/27/the-truth-hurts/

[10] $25,000 per household annually: http://www.heritage.org/research/Budget/wm1842.cfm

[11] the coming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs threaten to add another $12,000 per household per year: http://www.heritage.org/research/budget/bg2114.cfm

[12] reports: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-president5-2008nov05,0,801638,print.story

[13] favoring constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage: http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-11-05-gay-marriage_N.htm

[14] speed up the approval of power plants: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f204a8aa-aa9f-11dd-897c-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

[15] the federal government isn’t doing enough to expedite drilling: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/04/AR2008110403654.html

[16] headed for defeat: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/05/MND813Q18V.DTL

[17] Christian Broadcasting Network: http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/475852.aspx

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