From the White House:
The President recognizes that both parties and both houses of Congress must come together to reduce our deficits. As a step toward achieving that goal, he is calling for a five-year freeze on all spending outside of security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. This freeze will require substantial cuts, including to programs the President supports, to allow for the investments in education and research that our economy needs. He called for a bipartisan effort to strengthen Social Security to safeguard it for future generations, and wants both parties and both houses of Congress to work together to cut spending wherever it may be appropriate, including health spending, defense spending and spending in the tax code.
This is high drama, but it will do little to reduce the deficit. Obama needs to lead on cutting Social Security and Medicare, or the budget will never be fixed. I see little sign he’s going to propose anything serious with respect to reducing these entitlements.
Besides, is he actually going to start vetoing spending bills? Don’t bet on it.
Obama will also propose junking Bush’s signature domestic policy achievement, No Child Left Behind.
He is calling on Congress to re-define and right-size the federal role in education,”replacing No Child Left Behind with a new law that raises expectations, challenges failure, rewards success, and provides greater flexibility for schools to innovate and improve results for their students. The President is also pledging to prepare an additional 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math teachers by the end of the decade.
The last one is right out of the Clinton playbook. Remember putting 100,000 cops on the street? Not surprising, given that almost everyone in the White House except for Obama worked for Clinton. Also not that he will “prepare” 100K teachers. I gather they can work as farmers after their “preparation” if they want.
One intriguing note in what the White House has said so far is that Obama will call for reducing “medical malpractice liability.” If he’s serious about it, it’s the type of compromise that could draw Republicans to an effort to preserve as much of his health reform law as possible.