I welcome the President’s newfound commitment to balancing the budget, but his target for doing so is three years after he has left office, and even then, balancing it will not be easy if the outlays for Iraq exceed $100 billion a year.  We will have to wait until next month, when his budget arrives, to see whether the reality matches tonight’s rhetoric.

Of all that he proposed, the most likely for compromise may be alternative fuels and energy efficiency standards. We put forth such a program last week, but it differed from the President’s in one basic way: it was paid for by repealing tax concessions to the major oil companies.

All in all, the President struck a note of conciliation, and I hope we can find common ground.