Tonight we will see a conflict of perspective, as President Obama will lay out a realistic but optimistic view of the American economy, while Gov. Bobby Jindal will deliver a Republican response that will call for more tax cuts. The two speeches could provide a preview of the 2012 election.
The President will say, “The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.”
While Gov. Bobby Jindal will focus on spending and tax cuts, “To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you – the American people, because we believe that Americans can do anything.”
Of course, Jindal’s answer, just like John McCain and George W. Bush, is tax cuts, “Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line, and saddle future generations with debt. Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It’s irresponsible. And it’s no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children.”
This is all posturing by Jindal in the hope that he will become the top contender for the Republican nomination in 2012. In fact, most of the positions taken by the Republicans so far are nothing but positioning for 2010 and 2012. Jindal is not going to impress the American voters by becoming a darker skinned version of John McCain. If the Republican for 2012 is to argue that we should cut taxes after Obama has already delivered the biggest tax cut in history is foolish at best.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pointed out today that for the governors that oppose the stimulus, accepting the federal money is an all or nothing kind of deal. Jindal has been saying that he will turn down the unemployment compensation part of the stimulus. In fact, he has been lying to the unemployed. What we will see tonight is that Jindal doesn’t match up well with Obama. I expect him to give the kind of flat performance that he usually delivers on television. The Republican Party is trying to push Jindal as the anti-Obama, and to a degree his is the anti-Obama as he lacks the vision, talent, and skills of our current president.