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Obama lays out ambitious economic to-do list - but can it be done?

by AirTalk

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President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gestures during the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. CHARLES DHARAPAK/AFP/Getty Images

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama oozed confidence and determination as he laid out his plans to boost the economy, create jobs, foster education and scientific progress and give a hand up to strapped middle class families.  “We can get this done,” he repeated several times.  But can we?  

Universal preschool, increasing the minimum wage, repairing bridges and creating technology institutes might seem like no-brainer solutions to some; to others, they’re pie in the sky, impossible goals in the face of our current debt crisis.  In his response, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) said that Obama’s overarching message amounted to solving every problem by having Washington “tax more, borrow more, and spend more.”

What did you think of the president’s ideas?  Are they realistic, affordable or even doable? Does his speech give us reason to be optimistic, or is Obama dreaming the impossible dream?

Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, formerly Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team

Phillip Swagel, Professor at University of Maryland, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute

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