THE PRESIDENTS SPEECH
Last night the president gave his talk on jobs- I think he did all right. He chose somewhat of a compromise approach. Some of the proposals were conservative in nature- others progressive.
I’m sure some of the more progressive Democrats are mad- they were hoping for a big spending plan [another stimulus] and they did not get that. The cost is not cheap- don’t get me wrong- it is around 450 billion, but it is not the trillion that some have called for [Paul Krugman- NY Times].
The president also spoke about the need for Medicare reform- this did anger the progressives- yet he was honest about the program- at the current rate of the cost of health care- and the age that people are living- the program does need adjustments.
Now- for the more cynical out there- the president might not being doing this out of a purely noble reason- he might realize that there are only so many things left that he can shoot for- and to have the legacy of being the president that ‘saved’ Medicare- well that might be part of this.
He does get advice from Bill Clinton- and Clinton was a moderate/conservative Dem- he angered liberal Dem’s when he did welfare reform- yet he is viewed in a good light because of it.
So it is possible that some have told president Obama that he too will get heat for the Medicare proposal- but at the end of the day it will help his image more than hurt it.
The other day I did a post on the EPA and how too many new air standards could jeopardize jobs. Funny thing- that same day the president made headlines by rejecting his own EPA rules that would have lowered the smog and the ozone in the atmosphere. I think this was the first time he has gone against his own EPA and did indeed anger many environmentalists.
I also spoke with my liberal friend from the North the other day- we were discussing Obama care and I told the person that I did feel like the law might be overturned. That the way the president justified the mandate [Making people buy insurance] was thru the Commerce Clause.
This rule lets the govt. regulate business between the states. But the administration went to court in defending the new law by saying they can force people to buy health insurance because health care is a business that the govt. has the right to regulate.
I remember when Obama care first passed- some reporter did ask Pelosi about this- she laughed- like there was no way the courts would possibly overturn the law based on this challenge. Yet the next day or so after I told my liberal friend that I did think there was a chance that the courts would overturn it. A major ruling came out against the mandate.
I’m no prognosticator- but I find it strange that I was hitting on these subjects and within a day [or the same day] these things did go the way I felt they would.
I do think that it’s possible that our political system is so broken- that it might be beyond repair. The problem is we need statesmen- men and woman who will do what is right- and not simply play to their party [or to corporate interests- or a whole host of other special interest groups].
Yet year after year the pressure on those in office- to either want one side to fail- or to go after the other side because they are trying to deal with one of the 3rd rails of politics [Medicare- s.s.- etc.]
If we are unable to truly do what we can- like the president said- he and the congress have a year and a few months left to work- if they can’t get stuff done because of an election year- and both sides playing politics- then it really won’t matter [a whole lot] who the next president is- because once again the system will devour itself.
I do think that the president now sees that the more progressive Keynesian view has now been tried- on a larger scale than was ever tried before [though not large enough for some] and the project did not create the jobs that many liberal economists thought it would create.
So most of the progressive economists who worked for the president during the first 2 years have left and gone back to the university classroom- and continue to advocate their view- even after it failed!
People from all sides do stuff like this- they take a position and even after it fails- many times they still will not let it go- that makes governing difficult- because both sides see the other side as the enemy and many times they will purposely take a position that will hurt their opponent- even if that position is not best for the country.
I give Obama a b [or c+] for the speech- but we really need him to put stuff in writing form here on out- to be honest- we really do not need any more speeches- we need the rest of this year and the next for these guys to sit down and present real proposals- things on paper that the budget office can score.
Many of the president’s critics are right when they say he does not commit on paper when he tries to negotiate- and he needs to put down his proposals and take the lead on these things.
I think he has learned over these past few years- and I think it would be good if we tried to get some of the things he spoke about accomplished- it is good for the country if we can get some good things done. Yes- we will have to look at the cost- but if we can work together some- that would be good too.