Apr 142011


When I watched the video of Obama’s speech yesterday I expected him to triangulate, setting the stage for another crushing compromise.  He surprised me.  His speech came almost as close to what I wanted to hear as a speech of my own design.  Here is a link to the transcript, and the complete video for those who missed it.  Next I explain what I think was right and wrong with the speech.  Then we have a couple more videos with other opinions.  Last comes the big question.

Tom122007_Painting_PaintingI found his speech compelling, one of the best he has ever given.  He explained how we got here, making it clear that the blame belongs to GW Bush and the Republican Party, without mentioning either by name.  When Bush assumed office, America was running a surplus and on the path to eliminating the national debt.  Then came two wars, the prescription drug plan and the tax cuts that went mostly to millionaires and billionaires.  All were off budget, so when Obama assumed office, the deficit going forward was over $1 trillion, and the economy was on the verge of collapse.

He trashed the Republican budget plan and showed how it’s purpose is transferring wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich, not balancing the budget.  If cutting the deficit was their intent they would not have included huge tax cuts for the super rich.

He promised that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be protected.

He promised to make the investments in education and infrastructure America needs.

His plan going forward starts by keeping the budget cuts just negotiated.  There I have to disagree.  That mess contains excessive cuts in critically needed areas.  Next he intends to cut Defense spending  and evaluate our missions, capabilities and roles.  I like that, but I’d like it more, if he evaluated us out of Afghanistan.  Next he promised to reform Medicare and Medicaid by reducing the cost of health care, such as negotiating prescription drug costs like we do in the VA, NOT by increasing premiums or reducing benefits.  I like that too, but I’d like Medicare for all more.  Finally he promised not to go along with Republican plans to cut the the top marginal tax rate (what the richest are supposed to pay, but seldom do) by 28.5%.  He promised not to renew the Bush cuts for the top 2%, and suggested simplifying the tax code by limiting deductions for the top 2%. I fully agree.

Rachel Maddow was overjoyed.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel was wrong about one thing.  Republicans do have a plan for dealing with health care costs.  Their plan is to let greedy insurance companies charge more money for less  coverage, and when it runs out, there’s the RepubliCare death benefit.

Ed Schultz and Barney Frank discuss the pitiful Republican responses.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Would they like a little whine with their greed?

And that brings us to the big question.  Now that Obama has finally talked the talk, will he actually walk the walk?  Last October I pushed myself beyond the limits of my disability to go see him in person, and suffered for doing it.  I cheered him as he promised that he would not renew the Bush tax cuts for the top 2%.  When he caved-in, I felt crushed.  So, I have to admit some skepticism.  But, if he follows through, he will have earned my full support.


  17 Responses to “Editorial: Obama Talked the Talk”

  1. My opinion…It sounded just like a campaign speech. That was the good part of it but then he got elected by his campaigning style. I still won’t get fooled again. If he really goes on offense, puts Boehner between the rock and hard place on the debt ceiling and refuses to make ANY concessions to get that passed by them who control the purse strings then and only then will I stop thinking of him as a centrist republican.

  2. I think/hope Obama’s smart enough to realize that he can’t just talk the talk anymore – that it’s time to stick to his guns. Surely he understands that if he doesn’t stand up against the destructive GOP, his chances for re-election are in doubt. It was a good speech and in general was well received – except by the usual on both ends of the extremes.

  3. Well, if he doesn’t walk the walk he’ll be politically walking the plank in 2012.

  4. TomCat,
    I’m with all of you on this. It’s high time for no more Mr. nice guy with these Republicans!

  5. He has to hang tough to keep my full support. I will not vote for a RepublicanT for prez though in 2012. He’s hoping that too.

  6. I’m with all of you – he better stick to his guns on these tax rates for the rich – he caved on them once before, so now I’m leary. It’s still has to go through the House and Senate. I wonder how much Reid will give away to get his votes, especially from the blue dogs.

    • Lisa, the tax cuts for the rich expire late in 2012. Th be renewed they will have to pass the House and Senate and get Obama’s signature.

  7. This might turn out to be one of those 3-dimensional chess games where Obama, knowing how those Teapublicans “just luvs ’em their tax cuts for the rich”, decided to give them enough rope to hang themselves with – because you got to admit they’re pretty boxed in right now. Polls show Americans love Medicare and they’re more than happy to impose tax increases on the wealthy.

    Of course I believe in Unicorns, too … so we’ll just have to wait and see if he follows through with what I’d call a damn fine start.

  8. It doesn’t matter what Obama is saying. This guy is a fraud. He has broken all his promises. People need to realize that he is only hot air and not much more. His “pretty” speeches are worthless.

    • Politicians are never able to deliver on all their promises, but to say Obama has “broken all his promises” is simply not true.

      • Maureen, I agree with Jerry. For some, Obama can do no wrong. For others, he can do no right. I think that examining his policies issue by issue is the most rational approach. We all have a right to our own opinion, but none of us has a right to our own facts.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.