‘We can’t go back’

‘WE CAN’T GO BACK’…. Over the last 24 hours, President Obama has begun formulating the stimulus debate as a choice. The tone is sharper, entirely justified, and arguably overdue.

“We can’t delay and we can’t go back to the same worn-out ideas that led us here in the first place. In the last few days, we’ve seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read but you’d be very familiar with because you’ve been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer. They’re rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems; that government doesn’t have a role to play; that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough; that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges — the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

“So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They’ve taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars, and they’ve brought our economy to a halt. And that’s precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment. And now is the time to move forward, not back. Now is the time for action.”

I don’t doubt that some editorial boards will find this kind of rhetoric troubling. I think the health of the American economy is on the line, and the president need not care what some editorial boards are wringing their hands over.

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