To the editor:
I am concerned that the outcry concerning Mr. Obama’s program may be way too early and much too shrill. I commend him for putting his very optimistic and expensive agenda on the table early. We have yet to see the sacrifices he will demand to support his promise to cut the expanded deficit in half. I suspect many of those sacrifices will impact constituencies who will fight and in many cases win. That will significantly expand the deficit since he has ruled out the promised equity generating tax increases for most of his first term (even then they are modest).
If he is unable to control the left of his party and they add to his ambitious program, the Democrats run the risk of alienating the independents that elected them. It remains to be seen if they can make enough structural changes to our electoral system to create a permanent Democratic majority. It is a shame that out of 300 million of us we are “blessed” with the vocal and unrestrained congressional leadership that we have. They make it hard — and they are frightening people.
Mr. Obama is very smart and very gifted. He may be able to control the Congress and curtail the appetite of his left. If not, he may really only have two years. Remember what happened to Mr. Clinton two years into his term. We do know how to neuter overly ambitious programs. Be patient. We can fix it later — if it needs fixing.