President Barack Obama
Obama's April 13th speech made it plain he's not caving in to extremist rhetoric and will seek pragmatic solutions.

The President made a compelling case for his vision of the future of the United States, putting the GOP on notice that he is committed to the quality of life for every citizen. The debate over deficits and the federal budget, he said, is about more than just cutting and spending, characterizing the conversation as about the kind of future we want.

In a pointed reference to the so-called Ryan plan, President Obama glossed right over the premise we might magically get to an unemployment level below 3% (as Ryan’s plan calls for) and noted that it gives up an additional $1 trillion on “tax cuts for millionaires & billionaires.”

The President is right, most of us do feel real and immediate pressure in our pocketbooks, and wish our tax burden could be lowered, but we also want virtually everything the federal government then uses that money to provide for us, from highways to defense. He’s balancing a very delicate recovery and the fact that many millions are having trouble finding work against the pressure to reduce the deficit that ballooned during the Bush administration.

Thus far the only job-creation theory coming from across the political divide seems to be the already discredited trickle-down theory and tax-cuts, despite economic data to the contrary and the fact that Warren Buffet has made it plain he’s more than willing to pay his fair share of taxes. Even the posturing to attack the Affordable Health Care Act has been shown to cost jobs, but in order to curry the favor of the most extreme, vocal members of the anti-Obama coalition it seems Speaker Boehner is willing to at least use their demands as sound-bites in the negotiation process.

After all, as the Speaker and his elite advisors know, compromise hardly makes for great headlines or news crawls.

But measured against the President’s defense of students, senior citizens, and the American Dream, his insistence that the richest are not in immediate need of more money, the shrill attack rhetoric is starting to sound shop-worn. Maybe the lack of a clear, credible, unifying vision for the future is why the GOP continues struggling to lure (or even find) a genuine contender to make a credible run against President Obama in 2012.

After all, Romney-Care is hard to distinguish from Obama-Care, former Governor Tim Pawlenty left the Minnesota budget mired in red ink, and trying to threaten voters with the same “big government, tax and spend liberal” labels from 2008 that the President Obama’s work in the White House has further dis-proven — simply running against the President — doesn’t sound like an inspired strategy.

Thomas Hayes
Thomas Hayes
Thomas Hayes is an Editor here, a new media advisor, Political Consultant, Journalist, Entrepreneur, and former Congressional Campaign Manager. 

Tom believes in “follow the money” when following politics, and continues his 12-step recovery from the years spent as a Programmer/DBA by carrying his camera nearly everywhere and writing on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

You can follow Tom as @kabiu on twitter.