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Saturday, March 23, 2019

This is not the moment to give the same economic speech, but to be bold and long-term.

Inaugural addresses are about poetry and vision; State of the Union speeches are about prose and governing. (I acknowledge the inaccurate theft from Governor Mario Cuomo.) But they can and should be about more than a simple listing of policy and budgetary goodies, which is more often what they have become, or the inevitable, and politically necessary, announcement that the state of the union is “good.” President Obama should raise the level of the genre and his own game in Tuesday night’s speech. Because second-term presidencies are two real years rather than the Constitutional four years, the president has a lot at stake in making this his best State of the Union.

The president’s advisors have told the media that this speech will reflect a “pivot” back to the economy after the inaugural address’s focus, largely, on inequality. That would be very welcome. But he still has a choice.

He can give the standard, dull, plain-vanilla generic presidential speech about the economy. This would have three major themes: (1) The economy is not in good enough shape, but it’s getting better; (2) Everything my administration has done to date is the reason why the economy is getting better; and (3) Here is my list of actions we intend to take that will immediately make the economy even better. That last point invariably emphasizes job creation, immediate job creation, immediate American job creation, and immediate American good job creation. The generic speech always has a number of good things to say about infrastructure spending. This is all always said with the implicit assumption that the economy of tomorrow will be much the same as the economy of yesterday and today and that no one need worry too much about change. You have to remember that State of the Union speeches are drafted by political advisors and consultants who, across all political parties and all times, share two views about the American people: They go into catatonic states at the prospect of any change, and their time horizon is at most a couple of weeks. This speech would disappear without a trace.

Or he could decide to give a far better economic speech. It would have the following themes:

First, a discussion of long-run economic growth, not the next six months – which matter, but not as much as the long term.

Second, a focus on a particular kind of growth: long-term, equitable, and sustainable. I mention the “sustainable” point in particular because it is always part of any rhetorical flourish but mostly disregarded when the time comes to do anything.

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33 responses to “The Bold State Of The Union Speech We Need”

  1. Hopefully this SOU will include more than just a message of inclusiveness and hope. I am looking forward for a speech that highlights the need to invest in infrastructure, R&D, modernization, and education to strengthen our economy, lower unemployment, and prepare our young for the challenges of the 21st century. Let the dinosaurs continue to champion subsidies and loopholes for large corporations and the wealthy, promote investment abroad to maximize profits, engage in continuous warfare to benefit a few select corporate donors, and champion the disenfranchisement of women and minorities. Let them try to take America back to pre-civil rights days, while we continue to move forward. That is precisely what we need to win in 2014 and beyond, and I can’t think of anyone better suited to convey a vision of the future that benefits everyone than Barack Obama.

    • MrStoneheep says:

      Oh, Brother!!

    • Plznnn says:

      Dominick, We have already spent over $1 Trillion on so-called infrastructure & shovel ready jobs with 4 straight years of high unemployment, and Trillions in more debt. The answer is NOT more spending and taxing but cutting spending. The Republicans already agreed to the last tax increase on the wealthy. ALso, taxes have now increased on the Middle Class. The Republicans called “already” for closing tax loopholes & cutting. spending, which was ignored by Obama & the Dems.

      It is NOT moving forward by irresponsibly spending us into unsustainable debt, especially with no results, surely you have to agree to that.

      • That’s right PLznn, we need more spending cuts so America can join virtually every country in Europe in another deep recession…just keep on spouting that GOP nonsense. Let’s do just like the GOP did with Hoover and cut spending assuming the private sector will take up the slack and let’s create the GOP’s second created world-wide depression. What nonsense!! And just for your info, a large part of the 898 billion that was allocated for TARP was not spent on infrastructure – it went to cover a lot of projects around the country that together with the auto bailout kept the country out of another Big Depression … but that was 4 years ago and TARP was never intended to fund projects beyond a couple of years; so what has the GOP done since then???? Sat on their butts purposely wasting millions of dollars voting on legislation that has always included billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies and agri-business and whomever else the GOP could find to give away money to that they think will buy them votes in the next election but which they also knew the Senate would never pass. All of this in nothing more than a stalling game…purposely wasting millions just to do whatever they thought would slow down the economy so the GOP could win back the presidency in 2012; well what happened??? They failed because the GOP policies are just as much nonsense as what you’re trying to spout!! Give it up!!

  2. maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll announce his resignation

    • Let’s see, if he hadn’t been in office the past 4 years, we could well be in another depression and you could be standing in a breadline; and the stock market could still be like Bush left it, around 6,600 with millions more Americans living in the streets because of their trashed retirement accounts; and Toyota and other foreign auto companies would be reaping all the profits from auto sales and America losing even more tax dollars that would be going to foreign countries; and bin Laden would probably still be alive and al Qeada running rampant with terror around the world; and millions of college students that have been able to afford school they couldn’t before Obama implemented changes to student loan programs, would be making the unemployment even worse; and on and on and one. Keep your head in the sand clueless!!!!

  3. ceekee says:

    It will be bold, and he will say what needs to be said, and he will do what needs to be done.
    Time for Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Ryan, Graham and their ilk to take a walk.

    • To Add Insult Tu Injury The GOP/Tea Party Is Holding Their Own SOTU At The Same Time Our President Is!! Where Ted Nugent Will Be The Guess Speaker??? Maybe Here’s Where He Will Either Die Or Go To Jail Like He Promise!!!

      • Plznnn says:

        You are a hateful intollerant person Fern. Always wanting others that dont agree with you to die, hateful talk.

        • You Can Go Suck Out Of Your Mammy Ass You Racist Asshole!! FUCK YOU You Lying Stanky Ass Cock Sucking Pussy Ass Bitch!!! If I Ask Your Dumb Ass Not To Talk To Me And You Keep Talking To Me You Just Asking To Get Your Ass Ripped GET IT ASSHOLE!!! STFU TALKING TO ME!!!!

  4. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Stick to your Oath of office and DEFEND the U.S. Constitution ! Or be Impeached !

    • Also You said in a speech ” I WILL NOT TAKE YOUR GUNS” : don’t let this be another lie of yours !

    • And if the only gun YOU COULD OWN was a muzzle loader and single shot revolver, like was the standard when Madison wrote the 2nd Amendment, that would SATISFY THE CONSTITUTION. NO WHERE, DOES THE EXPRESSION, THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, remotely indicate thay YOU have the right to own any type gun YOU WISH!!!!!!!!!!! All you gun owners who think so are purely DELUSIONAL!!!!


    • Mikey7a says:

      Not every half crazed, toothless, backass country fuck, owning an assault Rifle and 30 clip magazines! Quit reading the 2nd Amendment like it was written in stone! IT WAS AN AMENDMENT….needs to damn well be AMENDED again!

      • You are so right – it should have been amended years ago. The need for Militias has long since passed. The amendment was written when the country was still trying to open up the west; and England was still threatening to take back the country; and there wasn’t a police station in every meaningful town; and there was no standing army for the country (so a militia of ready folks was needed at a moment notice – but that’s not the case any more); And there weren’t any national guards in every state, and there was no Coast Guard, etc etc. This ‘ Militia’ nonsense needs to be stripped from the amendment. When Madison wrote the Amendment, he could never have even dreamed of the changes that would take place in our country, not only with respect to the great enhancements to weapons but even to our government and agencies that have been created to safeguard people.

  5. montanabill says:

    It would have been nice if Mr. Cutter had put forth some meat behind his call for a bold speech. Unfortunately, it was very much like the President’s speeches. All hat and no cows.

    I expect to hear the same rehashed vocabulary from the President. There will be a call for ‘investments’ and his ‘jobs bill’. In other words, more pork spending using borrowed money. He’ll want more taxes ‘for fairness’, but not promote a single real spending cut. There will be the usual claims that we are doing better, but need to do even more. I don’t think many people really feel we are doing better, but what’s left but hope and welfare for those on the bottom. The President does need to do more. His very nature will not allow that. He needs to surround himself with people like Dr. Carson and not the Jeff Immelt’s of the world. He needs to listen to them. He has been on the stump since elected. Probably because all he knows is how to talk. It is way past time for him to find a way to make his Presidency less of a disaster. It will not be by making ever more rehashed speeches or trying desperately to enact left wing social legislation.

  6. lambypie says:

    Hey Robert NOBODY is taking your stupid guns you freak. They want to eliminate military style weapons that don’t belong in anybody’s home except maybe in the middle east we are not a war zone for God’s sake. Wake up and “get a life”

  7. Betta says:

    How about this. Ask YOUR president why his SSN doesn’t pass e-Verify. Ask him who his SSN was originally assigned to. Ask him why he isn’t brought up on charges of ID theft, which is a felony. Why do you sheeple continue to support a known LIAR? I know most of you, but not all, were brought up better than that.

  8. joeham1 says:

    The Pork put in the Hurricane Sandy bill ate all the tax increases just passed. The presdient belives we don’t have a spending problem. 83% of Americans know we do.

    The Presidents state of the union should only focus on jobs and the deficit. But of course he will continue his quest to divide the country, demonize, blame and insist we need to spend more. His faithful sheep will agree with anything he says becuase they really believe he isn’t owned by the unions, Hollywood and the big businesses that don’t own the right.

    Fairminded people know that he is every bit as bad as the right. Both parties got us into the mess were in and both parties need to get us out of it.

    His agenda is getting rid of the right so the dems have a super majority again, and then they will be able to pass bad bills like Obama care and so on.

    I pray his faithful will wake up to this agenda of divide and conquer!


    • ObozoMustGo says:

      Joe, it looks like Obozo’s plan to destroy America is working just fine.

      [click image to enlarge]

      Have a nice day!

      “Individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient. We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations.” ~ Barrack Hussein Obozo in a 1995 interview with a leftist Chicago journal

  9. ObozoMustGo says:

    Don’t bother wasting your time watching that idiot, Obozo, wax on and on with his lies and distortions. I’ll save you them time. Here is Obozo’s speech summed up in a sentence or 2:

    “The proletariat shall rise up and destroy the bourgeois and thus bring about a utopia where everyone is equal and no one suffers loss except the bourgeois. And I shall be your Dear Leader and messiah throughout the struggles.”

    There. Instead, you are now free to watch reruns of American Idol or Dancing With the Stars so that you leftist freaks may remain as ignorant today as you were yesterday.

    Have a nice day!

    “Individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient. We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations.” ~ Barrack Hussein Obozo in a 1995 interview with a leftist Chicago journal

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