- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Yuval Levin, National Review: “This speech offered a vision of a profoundly technocratic and activist government, with its hands in every nook and cranny of the nation’s economic life - a government guiding particular business decisions and nudging individual choices through just the right mix of incentives and rules to reach just the right balance between fairness and growth while designing the perfect website for job retraining programs and producing exactly the proper number of ‘high-tech batteries.’ “

Neil Munro, the Daily Caller: “None of the political proposals create any significant political risk for Obama. His TV-ready announcement of new regulatory policies were too vague on details or timing to reveal if they will spur opposition from Obama’s political allies, including unions or environmentalists.”

Rich Lowry, Fox News: “Don’t worry, America. There’s nothing that ails this country that can’t be made right by a catalogue of piddling proposals that will be forgotten tomorrow - and oh yeah, more taxes on the rich. Such was the message of President Obama’s State of the Union address. It made Bill Clinton’s notoriously endless lists of poll-tested banalities look like artistry by comparison.”

Wall Street Journal editorial: “As he runs for re-election, Mr. Obama is trying to campaign as an incumbent who is striving to help the economy but has been stymied at every turn by Congress. Not even MSNBC can believe this. For two years he had the largest Democratic majorities in Congress since the 1970s and achieved nearly everything he wanted.”

Washington Post editorial: “Mr. Obama has said he wants to make the tax code simpler, but his proposals would further complicate it, adding or reshuffling preferences for manufacturing. This kind of picking and choosing between manufacturing and other businesses, or between different kinds of manufacturers (the president said he wants to double the deduction for high-tech manufacturers) or between towns that have lost factories and towns that haven’t, introduces needless complexity into an already unwieldy code. It also relies on a vision of manufacturing as an engine of jobs that may not be realistic in an age of increasingly automated factories.”

George Neumayr, the American Spectator: “He made liberal use of the word ‘investment’ as his euphemism for new government programs. Near the beginning of the speech, he praised bailouts (he bragged at length about bailing out the American auto industry); by the end of it, he had vowed to end them.”

Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary magazine: “While Democrats may have been encouraged in recent weeks by the spectacle of Republican presidential candidates tearing each other apart, often employing the rhetorical devices of the left, they could not have been encouraged by the tepid tone and lack of vision in Obama’s speech. … His claim that America “is back” was empty braggadocio that makes little sense given the grave state of the economy.”

Compiled by Marion Gabl, a John Jay Institute editorial page fellow.




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