“My administration’s policies are designed to achieve that future,” the president said. Healthcare reform, cap and trade, and increased education spending will be pillars of that foundation.
Obama, who knows he faces a fight ahead with Congress on many of his proposals, particularly energy and healthcare, said his administration has identified ways to pay for healthcare reform without increasing the deficit, as well as $2 trillion in deficit-reductions over the next 10 years, and will continue to uncover savings as it goes through the federal budget line by line.
Anticipating the response of critics who say his administration’s reckless spending will burden future generations, Obama drew a parallel between the tough choices he must make with those of an average family. A cash-strapped family with children in college will cut back on luxuries but insist on spending money to get their kids through school rather than making them quit to take any job just to bring in more money, he said.
“If we don’t invest now in renewable energy or a skilled workforce or a more affordable healthcare system, this economy simply won’t grow at the pace it needs to in two or five or ten years down the road,” said Obama. “If we don’t lay this new foundation, it won’t be long before we are right back where we are today.”
Tanner gave the speech high marks and noted that like former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, Obama possesses a rare ability to connect to the public in ways that George W. Bush never could. But, he warns, so much of what he said was already very familiar to people like him and the media who are paid to pay greater attention.
“The danger is that if he doesn’t have anything new to say, sooner or later the media will tune him out and won’t cut away from normal broadcast to cover [these speeches] live,” said Tanner. “Once that happens, it won’t matter how good a speech he gives because people aren’t going to get the message. Right now they don’t care that much about what he’s saying and just want to know he cares, but the media will tune out pretty quickly.”