President Obama is back to business. Less than a week after a controversial address on race and a self-comparison to Trayvon Martin, the commander in chief was back at a podium Wednesday (July 24), this time discussing matters of the economy.
Returning to Knox College, where he delivered his first big speech on the economy as an Illinois Senator eight years ago, Obama articulated his vision to “give the middle class a better shot.” His words made for a cocktail heavy on motivational jargon ( “Today, five year’s after the great recession, America has fought it’s way back,” he announced), minus any shockingly new plans.
Obama doubled down on his approach in 2012: division, polarization and moving to the left.
Much like in 2012, the President placed little emphasis on tax reform or growth. He spoke of bringing jobs back to America – specifically in manufacturing – but did not reveal many details of how he would achieve this.
We heard some talk of balancing the budget and deficit reduction, cornerstone issues of the protracted battle in the House at the end of last year and beginning of 2013. But there was no talk of a long-term deficit reduction plan or plan for entitlement reform that will save crucial programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
The President emphasized redistribution above all else, but with, again, no long-term plan as to how he would finally make this approach an effective one. Indeed, he hid behind the terms “ineffective government” and “broken Washington,” giving himself leeway in not having solved the economic problems that he promised to fix in both 2008 and 2012.
Later in his speech, the president blamed “political posturing” and “phony scandals” for throwing Washington off track. “And I am here to say this needs to stop,” he told the crowd. “This needs to stop. This moment does not require short-term thinking, and it does not require having the same old stale debates. Our focus must be on the basic economic issues that matter most to you — the people we represent.”
The president will continue his economic speaking tour Thursday (July 25) in Jacksonville, Fla.
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