Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was on CNBC today debating the likely impact of President Barack Obama's economic policies and the $17 billion in cuts that the president has included in his $3.5 trillion budget. In the course of defending Obama's policies, Dean made some statements that the Administration may come to regret.
Dean first said that there would have to be tax increases, which he called "revenue increases," to pay for President Obama's spending priorities (1:40). Dean followed that up by endorsing a "carbon tax," (1:45) referring to a cap-and-trade pollution emissions system that the Administration and Democrats in Congress have shelved because, in the president's own words, the plan would cause electricity rates to skyrocket. Finally, Dean asserted that President Obama's economic policies are good for the country because, "[W]e've had quite enough capitalism the last eight years. I think we need some regulation now." (5:00)
Dean's remarks are likely to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle in Congress and in the White House. Democrats will cringe at hearing them while Republicans will pounce on them as evidence of the truth of Republican criticisms of Democratic economic policies. And as the debate over the budget heats up, the last thing the Obama Administration needed was a high-profile Democrat talking about necessary tax increases, unpopular regulation schemes, and a need for less capitalism.
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