It looks like Obama will use the State of the Union to continue his march to the center. According to Politico:
President Obama plans to announce a three-year freeze on discretionary, “non-security” spending in the lead-up to Wednesday’s State of the Union address. The move, intended to blunt the populist backlash against Obama’s $787 billion stimulus and an era of trillion-dollar deficits — and to quell Democratic anxiety over last Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate election — is projected to save $250 billion, the Democrats said. The freeze would not apply to defense spending or spending on intelligence, homeland security or veterans.
On the bright side, Obama also plans to announce a series of initiatives to aid middle class families, such as increasing the child tax credit and placing a cap on student loan payments – but those are drops in the bucket compared to the social programs that will be adversely affected by a spending freeze.
It seems clear that Obama is listening to the Blue Dogs and the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, and is interpreting Massachusetts as a call to centrism and fiscal restraint – not a sign that he needs to move to the left to keep hold of his liberal base. Looks like it’s going to be a long year for progressives.
What’s on your mind tonight?