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Obama should have also focused on economic growth

Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23 2013 5:05 p.m. MST

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama delivers his Inaugural address at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington.

J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Our take: President Obama gave a statement of equality in his second inaugural. But Ben W. Heineman Jr. in a column for The Atlantic wished that Obama had focused more on how the progressive movement is founded on economic growth.

The commentariat has already reached a consensus: In his second inaugural, President Obama gavea stirring, modern statement of equalityas a core national value and progressive government as a core instrument to that end.

As a lifelong Democrat, I deeply admired the speech as an eloquent statement of American aspiration with deep roots in U.S. history.

But as a lifelong Democrat, I was also struck by an omission. A progressive agenda must be built on strong, durable economic growth. The importance of such growth today has many dimensions: It is key to a strong middle class; to jobs expansion; to national security, when our economic failures are a source of weakness; and to an equity agenda for the less fortunate or dispossessed, which is much more possible to achieve when national wealth is growing, not contracting.

Read more about economic growth on The Atlantic.

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