Yes, yes, he blamed Bush again. And floated above the problem like Balloon Boy, taking zero blame. But the thrust of his sleepy speech can be boiled down to one man--Joe. Joe the Plumber. Tax the rich, spread the wealth, throw in some token cuts mainly to due with waste. A more "balanced" approach.
He's right, we do need more balance.
Right now a large segment of the country doesn't pay any net tax at all. Obama suggests that's not fair, and that they should pay even less and that doubling down on taxing the rich and ballooning the class divide is patriotic and will help America "Win the Future" (WTF).
And you know what? In a perfect world he might be right--it might be patriotic for the haves to pay far more in percentage taxes than the have-nots--combined with cuts--if we're going to save America from Bush's economic disastrophy.
But here's the problem with tax increases---they are usually spent, not saved. Not used to pay down debt. And spent unwisely. By people like the president. On liberal boondoggles. Like high speed rail and socialized health insurance.
Obama said, "we're a nation that built a railroad across the continent". In other words, the government "invested" and built a railroad. Not quite. The government issued land grants to Monopoly-like rich barons who built the railroad. One of the companies--Union Pacific--is still around today and owns all the land along its right-of-ways. There is absolutely no correlation between building the transcon railroad and anything being proposed today. But it sounds like an investment, which is now a tax, which is pure goodness. And that's what counts.
Matter of fact, taxing the rich is now called "spending reductions in the tax code" and a "debt failsafe" is an automatic tax increase if the extra revenue from the reduction in the tax code received gets spent unwisely on frivolous things like high speed rail. Oh, and the rich want to pay more taxes--just ask them! At least the patriotic ones.
Let's get to the bottom line. Obama was right--this debate is about the future. Obama's future was best described by what he told Joe the Plumber. And he's not giving up on it, no matter what rhetorical inventions, half-truths and lies he has to foist on us.