State of the Union: My Thoughts
January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
At times, Obama sounded quite conservative, but that fiscal conservatism was shallow. In a speech big on the rhetoric of American exceptionalism, and in the mythology of the entrepreneurial American innovator, Obama also says that American business will not take risks on research, cannot create and tap markets, can’t compete without significant government ‘investment’.
Obama has picked up the torch, lit by Hillary Clinton, that America’s infrastructure isn’t up to the challenges of a 21st century economy. The previous generation’s huge investments in infrastructure, the last thirty years of digital development, the hundreds-of-billions spent on preservation and maintenance of our infrastructure each year, created nothing more than a need for more huge investments in infrastructure.
For years we’ve been promised millions of new jobs from a green energy revolution, and Obama continues to promise a coming job boom will be found in green technology. The American government will put it’s printing presses to work to pay for the development of the technology that will create those jobs, and the government will mandate the use of these technologies to ensure a payoff for their investment.
On the deficit, Obama sounds serious. He actually sounds good. But he sounds confused. Obama wants to reorganize the government (not cut…reorganize), he wants to engage in massive investment in infrastructure, green-tech, bio-tech, and tech-tech. We need to make college more affordable, and ensure health care for all Americans. We must preserve Social Security. We must cut unnecessary spending, but not at the expense of the little-guy. In other words — there is no clear direction on cutting the deficit, no clear way forward, and Obama’s spending demands are in conflict to his promises of any deficit reduction.
In all, Obama sounded like a Democrat: Americans are great, but government must lead the way. Americans can compete, but the government must give them the tools to do so. the government has a necessary place at the vanguard of America’s march toward the future. If you agree with that outlook, then I’m sure you found this a wonderful speech.