Thursday, January 27, 2011
Lost Op at SOTU
The President blows a teachable moment.
It was a teachable moment -- and Barack Obama didn't teach. Unless public opinion changes, we won't end our budget deadlock. As is well-known, Americans want budget deficits curbed. In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 54 percent urge Congress and the president to "act quickly" and 57 percent prefer spending cuts to tax increases. But there's little support for cuts in Social Security (64 percent opposed), Medicare (56 percent) and Medicaid (47 percent), approaching half of federal spending. The State of the Union gave Obama the opportunity to confront the contradictions and educate Americans in the unpleasant realities of uncontrolled government. He declined.
What we got were empty platitudes. We won't be "buried under a mountain of debt," Obama declared. Heck, we're already buried. We will "win the future." Not by deluding ourselves, we won't. Americans think deficits are someone else's problem that can be cured by taxing the rich (say liberals) or ending wasteful spending (conservatives). Obama indulged these fantasies.