I had fairly low expectations from the State of the Union this evening. I expected Obama to deliver a solid speech with the usual themes: we need smarter government, not bigger government, we need to make progress understanding that no initiative will be perfect and no party will be completely happy with the results, we need to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges -- that sort of thing. But, for the most part, I was expecting to a rehash.
While many of the themes were there as expected, and the delivery was indeed solid, I was actually impressed with a number of specific new programs mentioned. He really had me when he mentioned 3D Printing, a topic that the White House apparently has a real interest in. But that's all the besides the point.
The question I was left asking was this: if you're going to present proposals for new programs, shouldn't you at the same time publish the details that demonstrate how you recommend they be paid for? I'm talking hundreds of pages of specific assumptions, calculations and such, that drive the claim that these new programs won't add to the deficit.
As we're teaching our 8 year old with respect to his math homework: Rule #1: Show all your work.