Occupy the State of the Union

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 24 2012 7:02 PM

Occupy the State of the Union

I'm headed to the Hill shortly for the State of the Union, right as I see the White House talking points that Seung Min Kim has gone done and shared with the world. The best way to read these: Start with the talking points issued one year ago, right after the Tea Party slapped the Democrats into the dirt and took over.

"The president will lay out a plan to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world," said the White House talking points. "He will talk about the need to take responsibility for our deficits, by investing only in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn't, and reforming our government so that it's leaner and smarter for the 21st century."
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Back to 2012: A token mention of the deficit, and a lot more about the Struggling Middle Class.

The fact is, the economic security of the middle class has eroded for decades.  Long before the recession, good jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores. Hard work stopped paying off for too many Americans. Those at the top saw their incomes rise like never before, but the vast majority of Americans struggled with costs that were growing and paychecks that weren't.

Obama has put something like this in every address, but I'm curious to see the deficit/fairness ratio. The concepts aren't contradictory, but Obama's undercut his own argument here many a time, refusing to trap the Democrats in a discussion of tax hikes on anyone.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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