With Economy Uncertain, So Is Obama's Plan

Presidential hopeful's top priorities would cost hundreds of billions
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama may do well to heed former rival Hillary Clinton's warnings to be realistic; the expensive changes he's proposed may not fly during the current economic downturn.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama promises change, but if he’s elected in the current uncertain economy, those changes may come later rather than sooner, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama’s big economic priorities–government-sponsored health care for millions, greenhouse-gas reductions, and tax increases—leave the government with a tab in the hundreds of billions and face opposition, even within his own party.

Some analysts say emissions legislation would be the easiest priority to pursue, but suffering businesses would oppose the increased cost. Extending health coverage to millions would be capital-intensive, both economically (estimated $115 billion yearly) and politically, and raising taxes is rarely popular. Other goals that don’t require congressional approval, like naming China a currency manipulator, may take priority until the economy settles.