Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama Inspires Hope, Skepticism with State of the Union Address

Well, it wasn't an apology, but more of a mea culpa, concerning the bank bailout. I'll take it, I guess.

As for the rest of the speech, it was very well written and delivered, no surprise there. Obama attempted to distance himself from the bank bailouts while simultaneously saying they saved us from the crisis--nice move. However, we're still supporting a broken banking system, so I'm still not a fan. Nevertheless, he showed some balls, calling out Congress on its numerous failures. That I liked.

He also plans to give tax cuts and loan incentives to businesses, both small and large, to increase job creation. Sounds like something out of Reagan's playbook, which isn't surprising considering the similar hands the two were dealt.

He calls for a financial reform bill, and says he won't sign it until it's right. We'll see how that goes. As we're still relying on the banks that got us into this mess, I'm not terribly optimistic. He does have a plan to place fees on the big banks to help out smaller ones--not sure how I feel about this, but it could facilitate the changing of the financial guard.

For energy, he called for new nuclear plants, which is a no-brainer. He also called for more investment in the standard green energy BS, biofuels, etc. So he still wants a comprehensive energy bill, but I don't think Congress can produce anything I'll like.

His executive order to start a commission to bring down the deficit sounded great, but exempted defense and entitlements, i.e. 3/4 of our budget, at least. Considering defense and entitlements are creating the deficit, this is a show and little more. If it's the beginning of a move towards a balanced budget, I'll be happy, but again, we'll see.

The part I liked the most was when he called out Republican leadership for simply saying no to everything, how that's not leadership. It's true, but at the same time I'm sure Nancy Pelosi doesn't exactly have an open door policy for every Republican house member with a workable idea. Either way, he called on both parties to quit quibbling and figure it out.

It was a good speech, probably the best State of the Union I've seen, but as always with State of the Union speeches, I'll believe it when I see it.

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