President Obama’s Speech

President Obama delivered a fine speech last night. It was eloquent and I thought struck a positive note that has been missing. Confidence matters.

Unfortunately, I felt that he promised much more than he can possibly deliver absent a significant increase in taxes. He clearly intends to pursue an expansionary health care initiative as well as institute a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. Also outlined were plans for significant investments in education and green energy production. Amid all of these new proposals he also plans to halve the exploding fiscal deficits.

While he indicated that some of the money to pay for these programs will come from tighter controls on existing expenditures, the reality is that this has been promised before with no positive results. His promise to generate the additional revenues by taxing only the top 2% of income earners is simply political posturing. The reality is that to deliver on the promises without running massive deficits the middle class is going to be necessarily taxed more heavily.

Forces larger than politicians are at work in this nation and the world right now. Whether or not he can deliver on his promises is something that right now is not in his control. Hopefully, he realizes this and will proceed judiciously towards his goals. If, instead, he chooses to move aggressively forward, he is risking quite a great deal.

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