It's possible that mentioning Donald Trump's strangely quixotic flirtation with a run against Barack Obama only empowers the semi-professional businessman/fully professional loudmouth, but it's still a good thing that the Atlantic Monthly is trying to call him on some of the nonsense that comes out his mouth by comparing the new Trump to the old version, right?:
* 2000: "We must have universal healthcare... Doctors might be paid less than they are now, as is the case in Canada, but they would be able to treat more patients because of the reduction in their paperwork... The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans. There are fewer medical lawsuits, less loss of labor to sickness, and lower costs to companies paying for the medical care of their employees. If the program were in place in Massachusetts in 1999 it would have reduced administrative costs by $2.5 million. We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.
* 2011: "I will fight to get rid of Obamacare, which is a total disaster."
* 1987: "The fact is we don't need a tax increase. We should have a tax decrease. We should have Japan and we should have Saudi Arabia and we should have all of these countries who are literally ripping us off left and right. . . . They should pay for our $200-billion deficit." [Los Angeles Times, October 23, 1987],
* 2000: "By imposing a one-time 14.25 percent net-worth tax on the richest individuals and trusts, we can put America on sound financial footing for the next century. ... The plan would cost me $700 million personally in the short term, but it would be worth it."
* 2011: “I think hundreds of millions of dollars of money, and let’s call it tax money, could come from other countries when we stop them from ripping us off... As an example, we are protecting South Korea from North Korea... Why aren’t they paying for this protection? ... So, when you look at a hundred other items just like this, hundreds of millions of dollars could come in, so you wouldn’t have to play around with Medicaid and Medicare, and things that are really dear to people’s hearts."
* 2008: Criticizing President George W. Bush, Trump said, "He'd go into a country... attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center, and just do it because he wanted to do it."
* 2011: "In the old days, when we won a war, we won a war. ...You keep the nation, you keep the land, you keep the oil. ... I'm only interested in Libya if, again, we get the oil."