Morning Round-up: “Details Remain Scarce” Edition

Congress

Don’t just take our word for it – a look at the headlines shows that we aren’t the only ones who thought the President’s speech was long on empty rhetoric and short on substance:

Roll Call: In Joint Address, Trump Offers Congress Few Policy Details

“He promised that ‘dying industries will come roaring back to life,’ vowed that military veterans will get care, and declared he will see to it that ‘gleaming’ roads, bridges and airports are erected from coast to coast. ‘We will keep our promises to the American people,’ he said.”

But if congressional Republicans expected to hear policy details to assuage any concerns about how he will do that and whether they can fall in line behind him, Trump offered few.”

“He talked about the national debt, the trade deficit and a ‘series of tragic foreign policy disasters.’ Notably, on each matter, he mostly reiterated earlier statements from the campaign or his first month in officer, offering few clues about his planned tactics.”

New York Times: Trump Offers ‘Miracles,’ but Few Details on How to Achieve Them

“More jobs and economic growth. Less crime and poverty. New roads and bridges… President Trump on Tuesday night offered a sweeping vision of the many ways in which he plans to improve the United States, but he said little about his plans for achieving those ambitious goals.”

“Mr. Trump once again promised to transform America’s trading relationships with foreign countries, toward a goal of ‘fair trade.’ But the president did not describe what changes he would like to see. Instead of a plan, Mr. Trump on Tuesday articulated a general principle: ‘We must create a level playing field for American companies and our workers.’”

“Similarly, Mr. Trump once again proposed a $1 trillion investment in rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. He described this effort in grand terms. ‘Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways, gleaming across our very, very beautiful land,’ he said.”

“But here, too, details were in short supply. Mr. Trump said only that the effort would be financed from a mix of private and public sources, and that it ‘will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and hire American.’”

Bloomberg: Trump Speech Revives Campaign Themes But Details Remain Scarce

“He made a series of extravagant promises: ‘Dying industries will come roaring back to life. Crumbing infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our very, very beautiful land. Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately, stop. And our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety and opportunity.’”

“‘He’s talked about so many different topics and he touched on just about all of them here, but none in any more granular level of detail,’ Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said by phone.”

Washington Post Op-ed by Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s speech to Congress was mostly devoid of substance

“Aside from that, the speech had little to commend in it. The substitute for gloom and doom turned out to be sophomoric pabulum like: ‘We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.’ Entirely devoid of substance, the fortune-cookie-like admonitions sounded like time fillers to extend the speech to an acceptable length. (‘From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears.’) With too many clunkers like ‘Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people,’ it’s evident he really needs a presidential-caliber speechwriter.”

“Trump has been president for about 40 days, but he sounds like he is still giving stump speeches… Alas, on health-care policy he largely repeated campaign promises… Well, the issue is how to do that, and there was no indication he had any idea how to approach the issue.”

Los Angeles Times Op-ed by Doyle McManus: Trump speech: Promise the world, leave out the details

“‘A new chapter of American greatness is now beginning’ he said. ‘Dying industries will come roaring back to life.... Our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety and opportunity.  Above all else, we will keep our promises to the American people.’”

“But the president’s bravado masked a harsher reality: His agenda’s already in trouble — for the simple reason that it’s inconsistent and unrealistic.”