Pundits are gearing up for Washington’s annual dog-and-pony show, known more popularly as the “State of the Union.” (Do you have your bingo cards ready?) The smart money indicates that Obama will try to resuscitate health care reform, while (obviously orchestrated) leaks point to a second stimulus bill under the guise of a “jobs creation” plan, additional taxes on “fat cat bankers,” and a “spending freeze” that temporarily holds spending for a few parts of the government at… almost the highest levels ever. Way to make tough choices, sir!
Policy initiatives aside, it’s a pretty safe bet that the President is going to blame most of, if not all of, the faltering economy on the prior administration. Bearing that in mind, I recommend Nick Fitzgerald’s great article over at the Daily Caller on the State of the Union speech that Obama should give, in which the President finally steps up and takes responsibility a year into his first term in office. Alas, the best part of Fitzgerald’s proposed speech is quite unlikely to make Obama’s final version:
The bottom line is that our current unemployment is well above 10 percent, and my administration promised you that it would not rise above 8 percent. Thus it can be said, fairly, that our initial plan to tackle the economy, and specifically unemployment, has failed.
We have put forward billions of dollars for a swath of unprecedented government spending programs that have ultimately proven ineffective. I ask the Congress to look plainly upon the matter-they will see, then, that none of the strategies we implemented to tackle the economic crisis have reduced our country’s unacceptable unemployment rate, nor have they improved the economic situation of the average American family. One could fairly argue that, in fact, they have made it worse.
These are the facts-and as president it is I who must take responsibility for them.
And let me be clear-the answer to our continuing economic problems is not more of the same.
Simply put, Americans need work. I will not rest until we cut our unemployment numbers by one-third before I see you again in a year. I will repeat that for the benefit of the members here tonight: in one year, when I address you in this chamber, I expect that we will have made it possible for one-third more Americans to have jobs.
I ask Congress to help accomplish this goal by lowering taxes on small business and investments; by reducing the capital gains tax to encourage the taking of calculated, responsible financial risk to grow our businesses and industries; and by keeping a watchful eye-not an iron fetter-on America’s financial markets.
Of course, if the President really wants to make a “clean break from business as usual,” he might consider the Cato Institute’s ten-point outline for the State of the Union. That would be change to believe in!