President lurches toward center on economy
sion by small business.”
There was a wide and appealing populist streak in the president’s comments. He refrained from attacking the banks but acknowledged that “we all hated the bank bailout.”
It was hard to disagree when he defended his proposal to put new fees or taxes on the large banks, saying “they can afford it, if they can afford to pay huge bonuses.”
Even redistribution seemed appealing when Obama promised to use some of that repaid bailout money to give to community banks, who would presumably be more willing to make loans.
He promised small business tax credits for hiring, and the elimination of capital gains on small business investment, while ending tax breaks for “companies that send jobs overseas.”
Education would receive more funding (even in the midst of a proposed budget freeze) and students would pay only 10 percent of their income to repay student loans. Those who enter public service would find their loans forgiven after 10 years. And government would no longer pay banks subsidies to underwrite student loans. In place of that program would be a tax credit for college.
Health care reform would protect Americans from the insurance companies, as well as save money for the government. Military families would receive more support. Only homeowners seemed to be forgotten, with vague promises to make refinancing easier.
The president promised something to everyone. But he got his only real laugh (well, more like a snicker) when he explained that his spending freeze would take effect only in 2011 “when the economy is stronger.” Any consumer trying to budget in this weak economy knows that you can’t wait to cut your spending till better days come along.
Today, Senate Democrats will call for a vote to raise the ceiling on the national debt to an astounding $14.3 trillion dollars. Contrast that with the president’s strong promise: “I refuse to pass this [fiscal] problem to another generation of Americans.”
The numbers speak for themselves. And that’s the Savage Truth.
WASHINGTON — Reaching out to a skeptical gay community, President Obama urged Congress to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, but he didn’t make a commitment to suspend the practice in the interim or issue a deadline.
Obama’s reference to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy took only 32 words of his State of the Union address, but was criticized by Democrats and Republicans.
But Rick Garcia of Equality Illinois, a statewide gay rights group, said the move is long overdue.
“He promised it in his campaign, and we’ve been waiting for it. So we’re thrilled he’s finally gotten around to it,” he said. AP
President Obama greets members of Congress before his address. At right is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.