I disagree with Hightower.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

The State of the Union - 4

The first job of a leader is to define reality so that his group understands what they are dealing with. It is even more important to do this when the reality includes a major problem because he will have to rally them for the sacrifices that will be necessary to deal with the problem.

Sen. Barack Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006. "Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally," he said then. "Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership."

On the PBS evening news on Friday Jan. 29 I heard the best analysis that I have heard about the SOTU speech. They (Brooks-conservative and Shields-liberal) agreed: This year the Federal Government will spend 24.7% of GDP and it will collect 14.8% of GDP. That's a 10% defict. You can't do that. We've been talking for 10 years about sacrifice. About George Bush not asking for sacrifice for the war. In the speech Obama mentioned sacrifice as an abstract noun but he did not say here is our problem here is what we are going to have to do about.
The Simpson-Bowles commission set it up for him to go with it. We keep hearing that he is going to deal with the deficit next year. It is getting to be like Lucy pulling away the football. So my reaction to the speech was very positive the first day, but it gets more and more sour as the days go by.

That is about the way it seems to me. It was a good campaign speech, but I was hoping that the campaign would be put off till next year.

On the debt he is like Nixon going to China. He can approach it much easier than the Rs can.

It sounds like there will be no push by him on immigration either. That leaves millions of people in a very stressful position and millions more irritated and confused(by the lack of a real policy).

I was hoping for more leadership. That's what I voted for.

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