Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wait and see

Obama is going to deliver his first State of the Union Address on January 27. We're told it's going to be a "no more Mr. Nice Guy" speech. He's just rehired David Plouffe, who was so important in his successful Presidential campaign, to bring some potency to his administration. Well, we can get a glimpse of what Plouffe has in mind from this recent essay by Plouffe, and I must tell you I don't see very much to be hopeful about. To be sure, Plouffe says some good things, but I see no spark, no truly populist venting--certainly no significant policy suggestions--in the essay.

I'll be listening to Obama's speech with heightened interest. (I haven't watched a SOU address for years, for obvious reasons.) There's had better be some fire and brimstone--and some serious effective "change"--in Obama's speech or else he'll be guilty of what I despised so much about the Bush administration: repackaging instead of rethinking.

Obama should propose an increase in income tax on the wealthy; a re-imposition of the estate tax (since its going to go back into effect soon anyway, Obama need not suggest an enactment by Congress, but simply inaction, which Congress seems capable of doing nowadays, if nothing else); a vigorous jobs program, including federal money for job-creation, particularly in green industries and green energy efforts; strict controls and limits on lending and banking; ending both wars (certainly ending the Iraq occupation), and something bold and decisive I haven't included above. This last I'll leave to Obama and his folks--that's why they get the big bucks.

Actions, not words, Mr. President. Words don't work anymore. If you've learned anything in this first year, it's that.

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