Tuesday, January 25, 2011

President Drops Entitlement Reform for More Spending in the State of the Union

Instead of taking the opportunity to increase his jobs approval numbers, Obama will talk about more spending and avoid speaking about entitlement reform in the State of Union. Liberal ideology takes a precedence over rational thinking. Pushing an agenda that will fundamentally change this country in an adverse way is the only priority Obama has right now. Weakening this country with irreversible programs will lead to the destruction of the United States. Obama doesn't care. He and his family will be taken care of from the powers that run this country- POWERFUL BANKS.

(Race42012) In yet another bout of political cluelessness, the president has declined a golden opportunity to triangulate and will not be pushing entitlement reform in his State of the Union address tomorrow night. This is akin to finding a winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk and tossing it into the garbage. By advocating real, even if left-of-center, entitlement reform, President Obama would have been able to recast himself as a Clinton-style fiscal moderate at a time when his approval rating is on the uptick, and during a post-tragedy era, when Americans want to like their president again.

The reasons that a presidential call for entitlement reform would have been pitch perfect tomorrow night are legion. First, even though the economy is no longer in recession, unemployment remains high, and the average voter, while not an economist, intuits that there are major, structural problems with the American economy that need to be solved. Unfortunately, solving problems often costs money, especially when liberals are the ones coming up with the solutions. The reality is that many of our economic problems are due to irrational economic actions that are the result of public policies that disincentivize rational behavior.

That’s why entitlement reform would have solved Obama’s many woes. First of all, the savings that would be generated from a major overhaul of Social Security and Medicare would far outweigh any new spending that Obama will likely propose tomorrow night. Secondly, entitlements are the primary cause of the long-term debt issue. And third, entitlement reform, particulary of the sort that means-tests entitlements and cuts the benefits of affluent seniors, would largely impact a voting bloc that Obama has already lost anyway, and would bait Republicans into doubling down on their “early bird special” strategy that they seem to be intent on embracing, where the GOP targets older, white voters, who are a lagging, not leading, indicator of where the nation is headed.

By passing up this opportunity to make the case for entitlement reform, the president may be about to give away his newfound majority support in the polls. Americans are going to hear lots of new spending proposed by the president tomorrow night, but no way to pay for that spending, and no way to prevent the looming fiscal crisis. Suburban independents, who tend to be Concord Coalition types who hate deficits and debt, may find themselves torn between a president that they want to like, and policies that they know simply don’t add up. That will open the door a tad for the GOP in 2012, a door that had been closing over the past couple of months.