The President's Speech

Though this evening's address is supposed to be nothing more than a speech to a joint session of Congress, there's no disguising it's really a speech to the American people.

Reading some of the excerpts prior to speech, it sounds more like a campaign stump speech.

An example:
“Now is the time to act boldly and wisely – to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that’s what I’d like to talk to you about tonight.”
“Build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.” OK, what foundation? We already know he really doesn't like capitalism. Is this new foundation really an old one – socialism? Over the past few decades we've certainly seen plenty of examples of socialism's failure to provide any kind of prosperity.
“In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America – as a blueprint for our future.”
A budget as “a vision for America”? Hmm. I could have sworn a budget was something that listed what was going to be spent and where the funds are supposed to come from.

President Obama did bring up a number of valid points, including banks' reluctance to lend money to businesses, consumers, and each other. Lack of lending is a choke point for any kind of economic recovery.

But he also slammed CEO's, telling them the days of corporate perks are over. Basically he's telling them that the government will decide what they'll be paid.

When he promised to push Congress to pass new economic regulations to replace the old ones, you could see Nancy Pelosi jump to her feet to applaud this move. Somehow I doubt that these new regulations bode well for our economy, for if Nancy Pelosi is for them we can be sure they will not be business friendly.

Pushing for a restrictions on carbon emissions sounds like a great idea, but it's become obvious he hasn't seen that such a program will end up hurting economic recovery by choking off energy sources. Not a wise move.

He did mention 'comprehensive health care', the high cost of that health care, and the importance of
'doing something'. But he failed to mention that government is one of the driving forces behind rising costs.

He also brought forth his plans for education.

Education is a wonderful thing. But he implied that because half of those attending college never graduate, the education system has failed. In a way, he's right. Many of those that end up going to college don't belong there. Instead many of them should have gone to a vocational school or an apprenticeship program. A college degree is no guarantee of success. We have far too many college graduates that leave school with an incredible amount of debt, yet cannot find jobs in their fields of study.

In general, education is a necessary thing. But we must make sure that the education our children receive is the right one. Just throwing money at the problem doesn't create a good educational system. All it creates is a large bureaucracy that has little to do with actually educating our citizens.

The President made a number of good sounding points, but the question is how many of them were sincere, how many were window dressing, and how many of them will do more damage than good?

Only time will tell.

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