Obama at the Crossroads: Politics, Markets, and the Battle for America's Future

By Lawrence R. Jacobs; Desmond King | Go to book overview

3
Reconstituting the Submerged
State

THE CHALLENGES OF SOCIAL POLICY
REFORM IN THE OBAMA ERA

Suzanne Mettler1

It’s time for us to change America…. change happens because the American people
demand it—because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new
politics for a new time. America, this is one of those moments. I believe that
as hard as it
will be, the change we need is coming
.

— BARACK OBAMA, nomination acceptance speech, Democratic National Conven-
tion, August 28, 2008, Denver, Colorado

Eternal vigilance is the name of the game in taxation. We do not anticipate shining a light
on this now-dormant proposal in coming months, but we will remain intensely focused on it
.

— NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, “Eye on the Hill,” after oppos-
ing Obama’s proposal to limit itemized deductions for individuals earning more than
$250,000 as a means to raise revenues for health care reform, March 9, 2009

I voiced my opinion and voted for a Republican, and the roof did not cave in…. the
health bill totally upsets me. First of all, do we really know what’s going on with it? It’s
always evasive when they’re talking about it
.

— MARLENE CONNOLLY, North Andover, Massachusetts, after voting for Senate
candidate Scott Brown, January 19, 2010

BARACK OBAMA RAN for president on the platform of change, and social welfare policies ranked among his top priorities for reform. During his campaign he denounced tax breaks and recent tax cuts that benefit the most affluent, even amidst rising economic inequality; he condemned the deteriorating condition of education, including reduced affordability of

-71-

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