Four more years. That is what President Obama seeks, and it is only the second time in our history that we are being asked to elect a president to a second term for a third straight time.
At a time of relative instability, we are being asked to endorse stability in the executive branch. That alone is rare, but for a long time President Obama said nothing – not even platitudes – about what he might want to accomplish if reelected. But recently, he has provided us with some hints as to what his plans would be.
The limited insight we have comes from two sources. The first is his speech at Cuyahoga Community College regarding his economic plan. The second is a column written by Ryan Lizza for the New Yorker magazine. Lizza was provided access to members of the Obama team that we mere mortal columnists would never obtain.
Trying to decipher what Obama’s 53 minute speech – when printed, it’s 17 pages! – actually says about his proposals on economic issues is, at best, painstakingly difficult. One has to scratch through his slicing and dicing of Governor Romney’s proposals or let us say his interpretation of them and multiple statements of “fact” as stated by President Obama which in reality are just Mr. Obama’s poll-tested opinions on these matters, to determine what he wants to do takes at least two readings.
The President characterized his plan by stating “This is my vision for America: education, innovation, infrastructure, and a tax code focused on American job creation and balanced deficit reduction.” The President may have a vision, but from this speech it’s extremely unclear how he plans to get there.
The speech contained some following assertions:
• He claimed that he asked Congress for the authority to reorganize the federal government for the next century. Does anybody remember that? And where’s the bill? Was it presented in the House and was there a hearing?
• He maintained that he intended to reduce our domestic spending to its lowest level – measured as a percentage of the economy – in nearly sixty years. This is particularly difficult to believe, because every analysis that I’ve read keeps federal spending at or close to its current record-high levels.