HALPERIN’S TAKE: Obama’s Deficit Address


A report card on the Obama speech and fiscal plan.

Positive: wrote and delivered a serious, principled speech that treated the American people as adults (which he likes to do); proposed enough deficit reduction to satisfy the fiscal-minded interest groups; proposed enough deficit reduction to satisfy Old Media’s demand that he get on the field; sufficiently articulated center-left progressive values (and blamed George W. Bush), satisfying liberals, including in Congress.

Negative: failed to offer a bold, paradigm-shifting budget proposal that would shock (and impress!) the country (rather than just provide the next step in the Beltway dance); inflamed (rather than calmed) the partisan waters; failed to offer enough specifics to clear the specificity bar.

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