Thoughts on Obama’s SOTU speech

January 26, 2011

Whenever I would ask folks at the White House about how they planned on dealing with America’s long-term debt problem, they would more or less tell me the same thing: “Wait for the deficit commission.” Well, Obama’s panel has come and gone. And in his speech last night, he failed to explicitly endorse any of its budget-cutting recommendations. This part particularly frosted my pumpkin:

The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don’t agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending and spending through tax breaks and loopholes.  … To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations.

What, did Obama not check his in-box? His bipartisan commission gave him a Social Security fix, not to mention a host of other ideas. Now perhaps this is all about some grand negotiating strategy. But it sure seems like the White House has clearly decided that a “pro-growth” message will serve Obama well in his 2012 reelection bid, with the Sputnik space race reference meant to evoke the can-do 1960s. To hammer home the point, Obama emphasized the need to keep investing in the “Apollo projects” of today. In other words, let the GOP be the Party of Austerity and root-canal economics. Except, sunny and smiling Paul Ryan refused to play the role. He gave a common-sense perspective on the budget deficit, an issue which the 2010 midterm results suggest is a big one with many Americans.

Yes, the corporate tax cut stuff was pretty good. But nothing in the speech hinted at any sweeping tax and spending reforms on the horizon. Maybe with Obama’s approval ratings back over 50 percent, the White House thinks it can afford a cut-and-paste agenda and squeeze out a 51-48 victory in 2012. A nod to tort reform here, more R&D investment there.  More to come later …

5 comments

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[...] a essay here: Thoughts upon Obama’s SOTU debate – Reuters Blogs (blog) function agc_getinfo(field){ var processor = [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Demetrios Perdikis, John Carmine. John Carmine said: Thoughts on Obama's SOTU speech: To hammer home the point, Obama emphasized the need to keep investing in the “A… http://bit.ly/fZMpvj [...]

Obama struck out with that pathetic speech last night. Once again it was all pie-in-the-sky, hopey changey. That is no longer going to work with those of us who made the mistake of believing during his first campaign.

Posted by faceofus | Report as abusive

Obama struck out with that pathetic speech last night. Once again it was all pie-in-the-sky, hopey changey. That is no longer going to work with those of us who made the mistake of believing during his first campaign.

Posted by faceofus | Report as abusive

Obama is mathematically challenged.

With a deficit of 1,400 billion dollars per year, he proposes to freeze spending and save 40 billion dollars per year.

I think he gets it but does not plan to change his spend and charge ways.

Posted by dfox7 | Report as abusive

[...] Thoughts on Obama’s SOTU speech FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger The laundry list from Obama’s non-laundry-list State of the Union address Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) Delivers the Republican Address to the Nation James Pethokoukis on Reuters Pej at Chequer-Board [...]

[...] Thoughts on Obama’s SOTU speech FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger The laundry list from Obama’s non-laundry-list State of the Union address Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) Delivers the Republican Address to the Nation James Pethokoukis on Reuters Pej at Chequer-Board [...]

Obama just reinforced for me the fact that he does not understand business, the constitution or the free market. There was nothing new last night and his proposals fell flat. It is not the government that will turn this country around but the people and the businesses. This man who has never had a real job let alone run a business and has no clue.

http://www.vadistrict5.com/2011/01/obama -fit-for-ambassadorship-but-not.html

Posted by javaguy59 | Report as abusive

[...] Thoughts on Obama’s SOTU speech FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger The laundry list from Obama’s non-laundry-list State of the Union address Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) Delivers the Republican Address to the Nation James Pethokoukis on Reuters Pej at Chequer-Board [...]

[...] Pethokokoukis reports, via Reuters: Whenever I would ask folks at the White House about how they planned on dealing with America’s [...]

We are all aware that, re the change in corporate taxes, that almost no major corporation actually pays taxes at the 35% rate. If there is a change, it would certainly help the smaller corporation but it would also allow for more crony capitalism as those “preferred”, ie solar and wind companies, will get special offsets. Not sure what the final result will look like but it’s doubtful that our corrupt Congress will bite any hand that feeds them.

Posted by apberusdisvet | Report as abusive

[...] Thoughts on Obama’s SOTU speech FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger The laundry list from Obama’s non-laundry-list State of the Union address Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) Delivers the Republican Address to the Nation James Pethokoukis on Reuters Pej at Chequer-Board [...]

[...] 50-year plan for eliminating the national debt. Reuters journalist James Pethokoukis (1/26/11) called on Obama to talk to Ryan in order to make progress on the deficit. The New York Times [...]