Obama on US Downgrade: We Need to Work Together...By Enacting My Policies

Posted: Aug 08, 2011 2:32 PM

The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein wins the day with this encapsulation of President Obama's brief remarks on S&P's historic US credit downgrade:

@philipaklein - Shorter Obama: This debt downgrade confirms why all my ideas were right all along.

It's funny because it's true.  After a delay of nearly an hour, the president finally emerged and assured an anxious nation that the United States is, and "always" will be, a AAA country. He said our fiscal problems are "eminently solvable" -- if only Washington would cast aside its unproductive, partisan "lines in the sand" and work together to institute the policies he's advocated throughout this entire debate.  We heard about the need for a "long-term, balanced" approach, including "tax reform" (read: tax hikes).  We heard about "modest" adjustments to entitlement programs like Medicare.  No specifics were offered, although we were promised a fresh round of forthcoming "recommendations."  Leadership.

The president then pivoted to jobs, rattling off a number of initiatives he supports to help jump-start job growth.  Would you care to guess what they were?  If you guessed "new infrastructure spending, extension of unemployment benefits, and an extended payroll tax cut," you get a cookie.  Or maybe only half a cookie, because all of these points are predictable re-treads.  There was absolutely, positively nothing new in this speech.  As the president spoke, the Dow dipped below the 11,000 mark.  As I write this, it's down roughly 500 points.  In short, the markets were neither impressed nor reassured.  I'd be surprised if voters felt much different.

UPDATE - Greg has the video HERE.

UPDATE II - The Dow closed down 634 points.