Taking Responsibility at the SOTU

Last night, the President was a little more realistic about some of the country’s domestic issues than about Iraq, but not more forthcoming and honest.

So, he spoke of cutting the budget deficit in half without acknowledging that it was a deficit he created.  He talked about eliminating the deficit entirely in another five years – long after he’s gone -- again without acknowledging that federal spending has grown faster under his watch (and under of Republican congresses) than anytime since LBJ.

He talked about creating 7 million jobs under his watch, without acknowledging that the first 3 million replaced the 3 million jobs lost in the early years of his presidency.

He mentioned climate change for the first time, without acknowledging that he spent five years denying it was a problem and pulled the United States out of the global talks on the issue.  And by the way, his grand response would cut CO2 emissions in 2017 by perhaps 2 percent – far too little to have any effect on climate change.

He proposed an interesting direction in health insurance – recovering revenues from the tax deductions for “Cadillac plans” and using them to help support coverage for the uninsured – but again, without acknowledging that the number of uninsured has risen sharply on his watch. He also didn’t mention that his new tax deduction would take the place of the current untaxed treatment of employer-provided health coverage.   

He talked about his administration diplomatic efforts, without acknowledging its role in allowing multilateral trade talks to collapse.

And on the great economic challenge facing Americans – globalization -- he said … nothing. 

If our country is to be governed honestly or wisely in the next two years, it certainly seems like the leadership will have to come not from this President, but from innovative Democrats and perhaps a few dissident Republicans.