What’s your opinion of the president’s speech? Please post below. Here’s mine:
Arena Asks: President Barack Obama on Thursday proposed a $447 billion jobs package composed of tax cuts, aid to states and infrastructure spending, challenging a joint session of Congress to shut down the “political circus” and pass what he dubbed the American Jobs Act as soon as possible.
Will President Obama’s jobs plan work? And can any president really “create jobs”?
My Answer: Passion! What a relief to see President Cool Obama express some passion. I think the whole nation, regardless of political persuasion, breathed differently when at last, he energetically, definitively, told Congress what he wanted: “Pass the bill.”
I hope they do pass the bill, and soon. Everything in it is sensible, doable, does no harm, and might just do a lot of good for people who need it most. For the first time I can remember, he also paid attention to women as a key part of the economic engine–a major breakthrough. These are all important and valuable things.
The American Jobs Act, however, is also fundamentally incremental. It might stanch bleeding, but there is no soaring strategy to elevate thinking, make people more optimistic for the long haul, or jump start the game-changing innovation we need to grow our way out of the recession. In usual Obama leadership fashion, the speech was overtly crafted not to define the terms but to work within the Republicans’ framing of the problem: debt and taxes are both too high, which inherently buys into the labeling of Democrats as tax and spend profligates.
With his speech, the President successfully changed the tone. But though his new found passion enlivened the discourse, he has yet to change the conversation.