What we needed to hear again were some famous words spoken by President Bill Clinton in January of 1996: “The era of big government is over”.

This, however, is what we got:

Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed “we redouble these efforts.” He coupled this with a call to “freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.”

But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.

For example, he said he wants to eliminate “billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.” Yet he made a similar proposal last year that went nowhere. He sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request, even though Democrats were then in charge of both houses of Congress. – Associated Press

I’m not at all sure what Bill Clinton was thinking when he uttered those now famous words. I’m still inclined to think that Newt Gingrich saved the Clinton presidency by handcuffing Clinton’s policies rather than Clinton changing his approach to the role of government. But that’s a subject for another post.

What I am sure of is that Obama’s speech illustrates that he has learned very little from the shellacking he received two short months ago. And, unless the Republicans stop him, what he’s proposing will increase both unemployment and the national debt.

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