Monitor: American verdicts on President Clinton's State of the Union speech

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THE PRESIDENT may promise all he wants in new programs but the budget calculations don't add up, and the smart calculus is that future retirees will pay the price.

USA Today

CLINTON WAS able to propose slathering gobs of money on virtually every interest group in sight. For the most part, those recommendations will grate on his principal allies in Congress - the liberals. But the liberals are in his pocket. Now he needs to solidify support in the center: what better way to do that than with a cash bath? This amounts to jury tampering in the court of public opinion, of course. But this is what Clinton has excelled at for years. Cynicism pays.

New York Post

MANY OF the proposals for education, the environment, crime and military readiness will probably find broad support in Congress. We hope he also makes a push for campaign finance reform. If he can emerge from the impeachment debate and lead an effort that borrows ideas from the opposition, he could put a productive stamp on his final two years in office.

New York Times

HELPING CLINTON last night was also the fact that he is presiding over what may be the most prosperous period in US history. Republicans might as well accept this reality: America won't tolerate his removal. He walked into the House not unlike Daniel entering the lion's den. And like Daniel, he walked out again. The lions were cheering.

Miami Herald

IT MUST be remembered that on the occasion of one of Clinton's previous State of the Union messages, he declared that the "era of big government is over". Some of the biggest government programs and tax increases in US history followed that blithe baloney. While Clinton's presidency is in deep trouble, the state of the union has not been better in some time. In the coming weeks, the Senate will decide whether Clinton will remain president long enough to advance any part of his sweeping agenda.

Houston Chronicle