President Obama, in his inaugural speech Monday, left no doubt he is an unreformed liberal emboldened by his solid win in November. If there was any doubt before that he plans to try to redistribute a bunch of the money possessed by the wealthy to those who aren’t so wealthy, he swept that doubt away.
His message for the Republicans, according to Nidra Pickler, writing for the Associated Press, was “compromise and embrace government as part of the solution.” Which is exactly what the Republican right wing doesn’t want to do.
He came down solidly on the side of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
“They do not make us a nation of takers,” he said. “They free us to take the risks that make the country great.”
He came out totally in favor of gay marriage.
He made it clear he would support efforts to reduce global warming.
In his first term, Obama surprised some of us by being less of a liberal than we thought he would be.
Now it appears, without the need to be re-elected again, he can push much harder to get his liberal agenda introduced and passed.
How much of this speech was a bone to his backers and how much is truly part of Obama’s agenda remains to be seen.
The political balance today won’t be much different than it was before the election. Obama, like any president, will have to form coalitions to leave his imprint on the nation’s future.
Also, he will have to be lucky. The economy has improved since he took office four years ago, but only for some people.
Whether Obama manages to wring more dollars from billionaires or not, the thing that will bring prosperity will be a robust economy, not redistribution through taxation.