- Last Updated: 3:42 AM, February 13, 2013
- Posted: 1:25 AM, February 13, 2013
They might not expect it, but don’t worry, he’s got a plan for every problem — and in every case, the solution is more government.
Kids aren’t learning? Try universal preschool, because study after study shows it works — except for the study after study that shows its gains are fleeting.
Manufacturing in trouble? It will be renewed through 15 government-funded “hubs.”
Say, do you keep your lights on when you should turn them off? He’s got a solution: “I’m also issuing a new goal for America: Let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years.”
OK, if that sounds a little too much like the New Deal to you, don’t worry — the president will “make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden.”
How? Simple: “I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children.”
And speaking of schools worthy of our children, the federal government is apparently going to get into the architecture business, too: “I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers.”
Innovation is what we need, and while history suggests the most profound innovations come from the profit motive, the president thinks the incubator of innovation is the federal government: “Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race.”
You might think manufacturing hubs and a Partnership to Rebuild America and a Fix-It- First program are kind of a lot to do, but wait, there’s more: “I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”
So we’ve got hubs and a partnership and a program and a trust — a trust that “use[s] some of our oil and gas revenues.” Which is a way of saying “tax increase” without saying tax increase.
The president, as ever, loves euphemisms for tax hikes —wealthy seniors “should pay a little more,” and there should be a “balanced approach,” and we should “close loopholes,” and the like.
He also loves to speak rather loosely about the cost of his programs. Four years ago, he said his health-care plan to provide insurance to 30 million people would not add “a dime” to the deficit — a claim that did great harm to his effort to win people over to his side.
Last night, in the course of this liberal fantasy of a State of the Union straight out of “The West Wing,” the president went back to his old decimal-coinage bit by asserting that “nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.”
He’s either lying through his teeth or believes every word of it. Hard to say which would be worse. Too bad he didn’t propose a Hub on Dimes and Deficits last night to figure it out.