President Barack Obama’s big speech on the economy in Ohio was “a falsehood wrapped in a fallacy,” Washington Post
columnist Dana Milbank writes.
“The falsehood is that he has been serious about cutting government spending,” Milbank wrote. “The fallacy is that this election will be some sort of referendum that will break the logjam in Washington.”
Obama’s fallacy is that this election will break the stalemate in Washington and allow either his economic vision or that of the GOP to prevail.
“He’s right about the stalemate. But he’s absolutely wrong that November offers an opportunity to break it. No scenario shows either party with a chance of amassing a solid governing majority of the sort Obama had when he took office.
The way to break the stalemate is through compromise, not conquest.
“And that leads to the falsehood. Despite his claim that ‘both parties have laid out their policies on the table,’ Obama has made no serious proposal to fix the runaway entitlement programs that threaten to swamp the government’s finances.”
Milbank said Obama was correct in stating that the GOP’s refusal to consider tax increases scuttled the Bowles-Simpson plan, that their anti-tax stand is a major contributor to gridlock and that Republicans would end Medicare as we know it.
“But none of that is going to help Obama, because he hasn’t come up with a viable alternative. It isn’t enough to claim that the other guys have a bad plan (though they do). As Democratic strategists Stan Greenberg and James Carville wrote in a memo widely discussed this week, Obama needs a ‘new narrative’ that ‘focuses on what we will do to make a better future for the middle class.’
“Instead, Obama’s speech was a rehash of earlier proposals — such as sending more Americans to community college and spending more on clean energy. Those plans for additional spending would be more credible if he had a plausible plan to reform entitlement spending, the biggest driver of future debt,” Milbank said.
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