Michael Barone: Will Obama Be Another Woodrow Wilson?





Michael Barone, senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor, and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

How will this election be seen in history? Obviously, it depends on who wins.

If Barack Obama is defeated, the irresistible comparison will be to Jimmy Carter. A president was rejected for a second term after pursuing big-government programs amid high energy prices and attacks on America in the Middle East.

Actually, that’s not entirely fair to Carter. His budget deficits were minuscule next to Obama’s, and in response to the Soviet attack on Afghanistan he began the defense buildup that Ronald Reagan accelerated.

Carter supported airline deregulation, which made air travel widely accessible, as well as rail and trucking deregulation, which squeezed billions from the cost of goods and services. He signed a tax bill cutting capital-gains rates and establishing 401(k) deferred-tax retirement accounts.

Obama, in contrast, has made big defense cuts and suggested the sequestration process that threatens further cuts that his own defense secretary calls catastrophic. And in the face of voter disapproval, he pushed through Obamacare and has moved toward more regulation on almost all fronts...



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