Tony Blankley

Last year, Barack Obama said: "I believe that America's free market has been the engine of America's great progress. It's created a prosperity that is the envy of the world. It's led to a standard of living unmatched in history. And it has provided great rewards to the innovators and risk takers who have made America a beacon for science and technology and discovery. We are all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to factory workers, we all have a stake in each other's success because the more Americans prosper the more America prospers."

Yet last month, he famously said: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen."

And last year, he co-sponsored the Fair Pay Act, which would have obliged firms to pay men and women the same wages, not for the same work, but for work the government deemed "equivalent."

The first statement sounds like Ronald Reagan. The second two statements would be standard fare in Eurosocialist faculty lounges.

Similarly, on the question of international trade in "The Audacity of Hope," Obama recognized that a tariff on imported steel may provide temporary relief to American steelmakers but that it also would make every American manufacturer that uses steel, from carmakers to homebuilders, less competitive.

Yet March 4, he spoke of "entire cities that have been devastated as a consequence of trade agreements that were not adequately structured to make sure that U.S. workers had a fair deal." To workers in cold warehouses, he claimed that NAFTA has destroyed 1 million American jobs, "including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio." As president, he vowed, he will not "stand idly by while workers watch their jobs get shipped overseas." He has called for a "timeout" on free trade treaties.

Of course, one cannot expect perfect rhetorical and policy consistency from any presidential candidate. But on the matter of Obama's economic policies, one can reasonably infer from his statements either that he will continue the free market/low-regulation/free trade policies championed by Reagan and Thatcher and followed by most of the prospering world for the past three decades or that he has bought into the social justice/inevitable scarcity-driven economic policies of high regulation, high taxes and wealth redistribution, which for the past generation has been a largely academic and leftish dissent from the globalized economy led by the United States.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

©Creators Syndicate