Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Do Votes for Change Still Resound?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Do Votes for Change Still Resound?

I'm exhausted tonight and don't have much to offer. Fortunately, I could do much worse than falling back on Barack Obama's opinion piece in this morning's Washington Post. Listen to this.

Each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.

That's why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come.

This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending -- it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education. And it's a strategy that will be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability, so Americans know where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent.

In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis -- the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.

I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. They know that we have tried it those ways for too long. And because we have, our health-care costs still rise faster than inflation. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens our economy and our security. Our children still study in schools that put them at a disadvantage. We've seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail.

Every day, our economy gets sicker -- and the time for a remedy that puts Americans back to work, jump-starts our economy and invests in lasting growth is now.

I'm fine for bringing everybody together in one common goal, setting aside difference for the greater good, and all that other stuff. But in the dregs of the Republican party that's still inhabiting Congress, "the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis" are all they've got. They're not just going to set them aside when they can use them to make their obstructionist soapbox just a little bit higher. Yes, we did reject those theories three months ago, so why are we still wasting our time to make reconciliation with them? Obama is right: The theories don't work. We've tried them too long. So when are we going to get on with it?

And just because I'm always a sucker for understatement, the author blurb at the bottom of the column is:

The writer is president of the United States.

You'd think that would count for something.


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