Actually, this could be the consensus. David Corn wrote Tuesday night that Barack Obama’s speech “present[ed] a powerful progressive agenda.” It’s been a long time since Ronald Reagan made the idea of big government solutions toxic and Bill Clinton delivered its eulogy, but Obama managed to exhume it for an evening. But does that mean it has come back to life?
You say it was a poverty of ideas. I think it was a throwback to mid-twentieth century liberalism. It was a pre-Clintonian tax-and-spend. We have a program for every human ill and the reason it won’t increase the deficit is cause we will tax accordingly.
Charles Krauthammer then goes on to point out that Obama can only claim that the centerpiece of his overall progressive agenda, ObamaCare, can only claim to not impact the deficit because of the massive tax hikes within in — not out of actual and effective cost controls. We are certainly discovering that in its subsidy program. The baseline average subsidy has increased by 38.7%, according to the CBO, adding almost a quarter-trillion dollars to the cost of the program’s first ten years. It’s almost the epitome of tax-and-spendonomics, with an unhealthy dash of regulatory adventurism thrown into the stew.
So how much chance does this new progressive agenda zombie have of surviving? Not much, says Politico:
President Barack Obama demanded more than a dozen times in his State of the Union address that lawmakers act on his ambitious policy agenda.
They probably won’t listen.
And that’s not the only hurdle — for all of Obama’s big talk, there’s no clear path through Congress for almost any of it. How to do it while keeping with Obama’s pledge not to add a dime to the deficit is even harder to figure out.
The latter relates directly to the former, in this case. His agenda doesn’t add up any better than ObamaCare did, and it won’t get past a Republican House anyway. Perhaps the better question should be this: How much of Obama’s previous SOTU declarations and wish lists of the progressive agenda over the last two years did Obama actually bother to pursue? Not much, and don’t expect much more this time around, either.