President Obama is expected to ignore calls from the American people to cut spending in his State of the Union speech. It appears that he will urge the government to spend more, while using euphemisms such as “investments” to obfuscate the issue. The speech will likely focus on “investments” in infrastructure and education.
White House economic adviser Gene Sperling warned that closing the deficit “doesn’t mean you pull back on everything … I don’t think that laying the foundation for future growth (with research and highway spending) is anything to discount in any way. What you need to do is be smart.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney opined, “The core emphasis that he has always placed in these big speeches remains the same, and it will remain the same — the need to make the economy work for the middle class.” He added that the State of the Union address will speak of “proposals that are necessary to help the middle class grow and to help the economy grow.”
Obama, as usual, is proceeding with his plans despite polls showing they are unpopular.
Last week a poll by Fox News revealed 73 percent of voters believed cutting spending was the best approach to fixing the U.S. economy, while only 15 percent who favored increased spending. Two out of three people surveyed were against another “economic stimulus.”
A new Pew poll indicated that the budget deficit was now the third most important issue concerning Americans, surpassing terrorism and just behind the economy and jobs. According to the Commerce Department, the last quarter of 2012 featured the economy shrinking by .1 percent.
The difference between Obama and the GOP, which favors cutting spending without raising spending, can be summed up in two quotes: former Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter saying that cuts in spending alone would “strangle our economy,” and Noelle Clemente, with the American Action Forum, asserting that the claims by the White house of cuts they have made are “full of budget gimmicks …We’ve seen that stimulus spending doesn’t work. That’s not the solution. … We know that this is a long-term spending problem and it’s driven by long-term spending: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.”