Obama’s speech

Barack Obama has always excelled when it was time to give a big speech, and he delivered again tonight. He explained the crisis we face, along with his plans to address it. Some of mentioned that Obama needed to offer some hope, and that of course was an easy task for Obama.

But, he took things much further. he laid down the gauntlet on his agenda. He made it clear that he was committed to addressing energy, health care and education – this year!

One of the interesting details was his reference to finding $2 trillion of spending cuts over the next 10 years that he wants to cut. He mentioned farm subsidies for large agri-business and “cold-war” weapons systems as necessary cuts. The political fights here will be significant, but he made it clear he was willing to make serious cuts.

  

Fiscal reponsibility summit

I’m listening to Obama’s remarks as he closes his Fiscal Responsibility Summit, and it’s rather stunning to see an interactive session that includes the President, and other leaders of our government like John McCain and Steny Hoyer. It was particularly interesting to hear John McCain speak and be supportive of the Obama Administration’s goal to get control of the military procurement process.

When looking at the list of attendees, it seems clear that Obama is serious about his goal to address the serious fiscal issues facing this nation. We are wasting billions of dollars with an inefficient health care system and wasteful weapons programs.

There seems to be some consensus on the potential of cutting corporate tax rates in exchange for closing loopholes.

Coupled with Obama’s aggressive, and honest, budget proposal, this might help generate some serious momentum for fiscal discipline.

  

Leon Panetta will head the CIA

I just heard this on MSNBC. Having Leon Panetta run the CIA is another brilliant appointment by Obama. The CIA has been a problem for years, as the United States has suffered through intelligence failures and corruption scandals in the military procurement process. More importantly, the last administration cherry-picked intelligence when selling the war.

Leon Panetta isn’t the first person that comes to mind when considering a CIA director, but Panetta is one of the most capable and respected public officials in the country. He’s not a spin doctor and he doesn’t sugar-coat problems. He’s a serious man, and we need people like him in government. He also knows his way around Washington.

I suspect that this also signals that Obama is serious about cutting unnecessary military spending. The procurement process os out of control, and Panetta is a serious budget hawk. Panetta can work with Bob Gates to take on the big spenders in congress.

  

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