Yes, President Obama got it right when he said that $30 billion would be given to community banks to spur lending to small, local business. And he got it right when it said that the payback of a student loan should not exceed 10 percent of their income; and that it would be dismissed after 10 years if the student chose a job in the public service sector.
The ideas supporting transparency were also right on: requiring lobbyists to publicly declare who they were contacting, and demanding that all earmarks be posted on a public site. His challenge to the Supreme Court's decision by calling for a Congressional response was also spot on.
Obama also got it right... in the sense of tossing the GOP a bone, when he said that America needed to focus on expanding nuclear power, offshore drilling, and biofuels. Environmentalists have managed to stall the nuclear power program for more than 35 years, and will continue to do so because of the unsolved problem of where to store spent fuels, and the issue of nuclear weapons proliferation from those fuels.
America will not be able to adopt this policy, then deny it to other countries like Iran, North Korea, China, India, Pakistan. And there is another unresolved problem with nuclear power. Years ago, an article I wrote, titled "A Landscape of Nuclear Tombstones," pointed out that the hidden cost of decommissioning nuclear power plants was not factored into their financial projects. Because of radioactive contamination, nuclear power sites might have to be protected from the public for hundreds of years. The article was included in the Top Ten Best Censored Stories of 1976, and I was invited to Washington D.C. to represent public opinion on this issue.
Wednesday night, I watched the President's State of the Union address at a neighbor's house. There were four of us, including a high school senior tapped by Stanford University for its next freshman class. We all sat down to watch the address as skeptics.
By the end of his speech, we had been pulled into the Obama camp. Not as Democrats, but Obamacrats, transcending the political parties, and including everyone who felt a pull toward the values he espoused.
As Obama declared "I cannot do this alone," and challenged the Democrats not to "run to the hills," I looked around the room at the smiling faces. This was the forceful, articulate, honest leader we have been waiting for. Bring on the reform.
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