Obama's Speech and Jobs Plan Don't Go Far Enough

Even with a meager jobs plan, Obama can beat a Tea Party candidate.

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If the president was running for re-election in isolation, he would be in big trouble. But fortunately he's not running against nobody. He's running against the gang that couldn't talk straight.

The president gave a fine speech Thursday night. It was combative. It effectively framed the choices facing the nation. Most of all it challenged the Tea Partyers to remove their ideological blinders so they can see what was best for Americans.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Tea Party.]

But, I don't see how you can jump start an economy with $14 trillion GNP with $450 billion in tax cuts and spending. The original stimulus of $700 billion was not nearly enough to do the job and this proposal is even smaller.  He should have proposed a larger stimulus for working families paid for by ending tax freebies for bankers, billionaires, corporate jet setters, oil companies, and the Benedict Arnold firms that send American jobs overseas. The president should have doubled down because the Tea Party won't give him half of what he wants anyway.

I feel good about the president's speech because I saw the Tea Party debate first. The logo for the debate at the Reagan Presidential Library should have been the Titanic with the heading "Loose Tea Party Lips Sink GOP Ships."

The frontrunner for the Party of Tea nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made it to the debate even though his state is on fire after he made major cuts in state support for volunteer fire departments. After his performance, Wednesday night, I'm sure Perry wished he had stuck to his day job.

[Read Susan Milligan: Perry? Bachmann? Romney? There's Still No 2012 GOP Front-Runner]

The Texas governor called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. Perry's slander came as cold comfort to the millions of Americans whose parents and grandparents were and are able to live comfortable lives after retirement because of the program. Perry wants to kill Social Security to reduce the deficit but he doesn't want to eliminate the tax freebies to the oil companies that contribute so generously to his campaign.

Things will get even worse for the Tea Party this weekend. I'm sure that many Americans will remember that Barack Obama was able to do something in less than two years that George Bush, the last Texas governor who ran for president, couldn't do in eight, which was to track down and kill the guy, Osama bin Laden, who killed thousands of Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

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