Un referendo sobre Obama

STANFORD - Los candidatos políticos de éxito tratan de poner en práctica las propuestas para las que fueron electos. En Estados Unidos, el presidente Barack Obama y los demócratas, con el control de la Cámara de Representantes y el Senado (a prueba de obstruccionismo), tenían el poder de hacer prácticamente lo que quisieran en 2009, y así fue.

Obama y sus aliados en el Congreso promulgaron una ley de "estímulo" de 800 mil millones de dólares cargada con programas dirigidos a los principales grupos del electorado demócrata (como los ambientalistas y los empleados públicos), adoptaron una reforma de salud radical y muy impopular (cuya constitucionalidad será determinada por la Corte Suprema este año), impusieron vastas y nuevas normas a amplios sectores de la economía, adoptaron una política industrial que selecciona algunas empresas para darles un un trato especial, se dedicaron a tomar préstamos y gastar a niveles sólo superados en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y centralizaron el poder en Washington, DC (y, dentro del gobierno federal, en el poder ejecutivo y los organismos reguladores).

La última elección que produjo un cambio así de radical en la dirección de la política ocurrió en 1980, cuando el presidente Ronald Reagan rediseñó los impuestos, el gasto y las normativas, y apoyó claramente a la Reserva Federal y su rumbo desinflacionario. Si bien las elecciones de 1988, 1992 y 2000 también tuvieron importantes consecuencias, los cambios de política no fueron tan significativos como en 1980 y 2008.

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