President Obama's State of the Union address did nothing to address the nation's long-term fiscal imbalance, say deficit hawks. But Republicans share the blame.
Sometimes, a speech is significant not for the points it makes, but for the points it doesn’t make.
President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday – billed as the blueprint for his second term, not just the next year – appears to be one such case. Missing in action, policy analysts say, was anything new toward a “grand bargain” on federal deficits.
Mr. Obama applauded the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years already achieved, and pledged to reach his longstanding target of $4 trillion. That would be enough to stabilize the ratio of debt to the nation’s economic output for that period, but it does little to address the long-term imbalance that looms in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, says former Clinton White House policy chief William Galston.
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