Did you find yourself thinking, while watching last night's presidential debate, that some of Barack Obama's talking points sounded eerily familiar? That's maybe because they were.
2012: I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States.
2008: Let's just be clear. What I do is I close corporate loopholes, stop providing tax cuts to corporations that are shipping jobs overseas so that we're giving tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States.
2012: And so the question here tonight is not where we've been but where we're going. Governor Romney has a perspective that says if we cut taxes, skewed towards the wealthy, and roll back regulations that we'll be better off. […]
Are we going to double down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess, or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says, America does best when the middle class does best? And I'm looking forward to having that debate.
2008: Now, we also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down.
It hasn't worked. And I think that the fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle class is getting a fair shake. That's why I'm running for president, and that's what I hope we're going to be talking about tonight.
2012: Now, I've identified areas where we can, right away, make a change that I believe would actually help the economy. The—the oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. Basically, they get deductions that those small businesses that Governor Romney refers to, they don't get. Now, does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money when they're making money every time you go to the pump? Why wouldn't we want to eliminate that?
2008: And if we want to talk about oil company profits, under your tax plan, John—this is undeniable—oil companies would get an additional $4 billion in tax breaks. Now, look, we all would love to lower taxes on everybody. But here's the problem: If we are giving them to oil companies, then that means that there are those who are not going to be getting them.
2012: [W]e've got to boost American energy production. And oil and natural gas production are higher than they've been in years. But I also believe that we've got to look at the energy source of the future, like wind and solar and biofuels, and make those investments.
2008: We have to have energy independence, so I've put forward a plan to make sure that, in 10 years'time, we have freed ourselves from dependence on Middle Eastern oil by increasing production at home, but most importantly by starting to invest in alternative energy, solar, wind, biodiesel, making sure that we're developing the fuel-efficient cars of the future right here in the United States[.]
Previously at Reason: The 6 Biggest Debate Promises Obama Failed to Keep.