Daily Archives: January 21, 2013

In the two and a half months between the election and this week’s inauguration of President Barack Obama, America’s public policy debate has been focused on prospective budget deficits and what can be done to reduce them.
The concerns are partly economic – there is a recognition that debts cannot be allowed to grow indefinitely faster than incomes and the capacity to repay them. Then there is a moral dimension in terms of not unduly burdening our children. There is also the global and security dimension, with the concern that the excessive build-up of debt would leave the US vulnerable to foreign creditors and without the flexibility to respond to international emergencies. Read more

Mr Obama faces the problem of what to do for an encore. He takes his oath for the second time with greatly diminished personal promise, a far healthier economy and facing no special peril. After some eloquent words today, he seems likeliest to keep on governing like a Dwight Eisenhower or George H.W. Bush — a moderate, effective problem-solver with limited aspirations. The word Mr Obama has used more than any other to describe himself is “pragmatist.” By continuing in this mode for another four years, he stands to leave a legacy as a fine decision-maker and manager in troubled times. Unless he raises his sights, however, he is unlikely to live up to his promise as a transformational leader.  Read more