Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Daily Strike-3/1/09-It's March

Hello and welcome to the Daily Strike. If you are currently on the eastern seaboard, I hope you enjoy the snow. If not, I hope you at least will enjoy this entry.

THE BUDGET: The battle lines are being sharply drawn on the budget, which is to Obama's advantage. This will surely be one of his toughest political fights. He's seeking not only a massive reordering of national priorities; he's doing so by maintaining a huge budget deficit and raising taxes on the wealthy. If there was ever a time to engage in this fight, it's now. Obama is at the height of his popularity. The midterm elections are still more than a year and a half away, so vulnerable members of Congress will have time to defend their votes. If he doesn't act now, he may never institute the broad promises of change he articulated in the campaign. Eventually, even if we're entering a new liberal era, there will be some political blow-back against the proposal, especially from the wealthy elite whose taxes are going up. The blow-back may even cost the Democrats seats in Congress, or control of Congress for that matter. But if he enacts a budget of this magnitude, it will have sweeping effects on economic policy for a generation. If we enact this plan, we can have universal health care, be independent from foreign oil, permanently improve our education system, and make our tax system more equitable. Those, to me, are worth any amount of political capital that the President has.

ELSEWHERE: It was a slow news day in the world of politics, so we're left to chat about the Sunday talk shows. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on Meet the Press, said that President Obama is more thoughtful than President Bush, that he seeks out everyone in the room to hear his or her input. Not the most surprising news in the world.

Also, it was very entertaining to watch Fox News Sunday, where Republican Senator John Kyl was debating Republican Congressman Paul Ryan on exactly how catastrophic Obama's budget proposal is. They couldn't find a single Democrat?

That's about it for today, but we'll be back tomorrow with a comprehensive preview of the week in politics. See you then!

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