Kautter says that Republican lawmakers could easily take issue with both the speed and substance of this deficit plan. "He said everything will be paid for eventually. Well, I think people can say they'd like it paid for sooner," he says. In addition, the president advocated a tax code under which "wealthy Americans and CEOs" pay their "fair share" in order to help boost economic growth—an idea that is anathema to many fiscal conservatives.
Near the close of his speech, Obama invoked the words of President Kennedy: "Our problems are man-made—therefore they can be solved by man." The president, however, failed to note that Kennedy never had to deal with a divided Congress. The nation will have to wait and see if such optimism is warranted.