Two very different visions for the way towards restoring the nation's economic health were laid out Tuesday night.
On the one hand, the president argued for further investments-or spending-in the areas of education, infrastructure and alternative energy, inthe annual State of the Union address.
The president made the casethat targeted investments, as well as freezing some domestic spending, areneeded in orderto maintain America's competitiveness on the global stage.
Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, offered up the Republican response.
Ryan argued that increased spendingwould lead us further down a path of fiscal ruin. Not only should lawmakers reject calls for additional spending, but they should push for deeper spending cuts than the president has proposed.
Ryan also reiterated the GOP's call for reversing some of the policy implemented over the past two years, particularly the health care law.
Today's Wall Street Journal editorial
takes Ryan's point, writing,
"Tuesday night can't erase the fact that in his first two years Mr. Obama has overseen an historic expansion of government. He has increased federal spending to as much as 25% of the economy from a modern average between 20% and 21%. In terms of allocating resources, this means that 4% of annual economic output was suddenly taken out of private hands and put under government control."
The New York Times
took an opposing view, one that supports the president's vision for government taking more initiative as we move forward, writing,
"Tuesday nights State of the Union address was President Obamas chance to rise above that pinched vision, to help Americans understand that while government cannot do everything, it is indispensable in reviving the economy, spurring innovation, educating Americans and keeping them healthy and making the nation competitive globally."
The president and members of his cabinet now hit the road to sell his vision to Americans where they live and work.
Maybe not coincidently, the presidents first stop is an important one for his re-election effort in 2012. Fox News.com
writes, "With the lengthy speech to Congress behind him, the president begins his 'White House to Main Street' tour with his seventh trip to the critical swing state (Wisconsin) since taking office."
Now we want to know what you think. Which vision resonates more strongly with you and why?
Click here to read
President Obama's State of the Union address
Click here to read
the Republican response