26 January 2011

American Voters Don't Care

...too much about foreign policy.  It was all about the economy and last night's State of the Union showed just that.

It is absolutely understandable, but if Obama wants to make meaningful cuts into the DoD, shouldn't he spend a little more time talking about American foreign policy?  The Bush levels are notably inflated, but coming below most of Clinton's presidency while fighting a war in Afghanistan is a bit off.  The economy had to play a large role in the speech last night and that should account for less time spent on foreign policy, but Obama missed yet another chance to emphasize the fact that domestic cuts will see little change in the deficit.

He did include this paragraph:
Now, most of the cuts and savings I’ve proposed only address annual domestic spending, which represents a little more than 12% of our budget. To make further progress, we have to stop pretending that cutting this kind of spending alone will be enough. It won’t.
So he did not completely skip this fact, but this is a pretty big deal when the party in control of the house is touting fiscal responsibility is focused on the 12%.  What this did was allow Reps Ryan and Bachmann to step in after the speech and make sweeping statements about the need to reign in government and simply speaking past President Obama (just like Bachmann did to the camera).  This seems to mean, amongst other things, cutting into the Department of State and de-fund USAID.  Such cuts will impact the world's poor and America's foreign policy.  That seems good enough reason to spend some more time discussing this issue.

*I swore I would not post anything about the SOTU, but I had to at least share the graph.