Skip the falsehoods, Mr. President, and just give us a plan

Nothing in Obama’s speech came close to a proposal to fix the debt problem; he dealt with that only at the end of the speech — largely by complaining about Republicans’ refusal to consider higher taxes on the wealthy. …

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.