Can Obama turn rhetoric to results?

Published 10:12 pm Thursday, January 28, 2010

It’s difficult to separate the rhetoric from reality. But that’s what we need to do in the wake of President Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday.

Hailed by supporters for bringing a retooled agenda focused on jobs and economic growth, the speech also was panned by critics as more of the same Obama rhetoric.

The proof, many say, will come in the action yet to be seen.

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After a resounding political defeat in Massachusetts just days before the speech, the President was forced to rewrite and refocus, perhaps taking a cue from the echoes of voters and turning his attention, at least in the speech, to the issues that Americans are saying matter most to them: Jobs and the economy.

With the forced-down-our-throats health care bill seemingly dead this year, the President turned his attention to a more centrist appeal for Congress to act on behalf of middle class America. Perhaps he finally realizes that unemployment above 10 percent and the lack of real jobs created by the $787 billion stimulus package haven’t fixed our economic woes.

Instead, Americans need tax cuts, real jobs and true economic stimulus. And that is more likely to come from tax breaks on small businesses who will hire workers rather than federal dollars poured into government programs.

The president called for renewed economic focus and making the creation of jobs job No. 1 during his speech. If Congress will listen, it can respond by passing a business tax credit to ensure quick job growth, as well as other tax benefits, such as those on capital gains and purchases of new equipment. These credits – if created wisely and monitored carefully to avoid scams and impropriety – could go a long way toward stimulating the economy and creating those much-needed jobs.

More important, the credit could help turn rhetoric into reality for President Obama and give him real results to discuss in his second State of the Union address next year.