Speaker Boehner called for President Obama to step up and lead solution development to the fiscal cliff problem. He pressed the President for details before his being reelected. Now, the President has the lead, and it is time for him to perform.
President Obama’s approach is to first take his story to citizens to build a groundswell for his legislation. Trouble is the time for that has passed as that is what should have happened in the campaign. Now, it’s time for pop goes the legislation.
It is OK for the President to ease the way, but the first action is to hand over the solutions to Speaker Boehner first hand. That would be credible and actionable in this late hour of the situation. So, what’s the holdup?
Thirteen days ago, there was this report:
“Senate ‘Gang of 8’ Says This Isn’t Its Moment in Deficit Talks
By JONATHAN WEISMAN
Published: November 15, 2012
WASHINGTON — After years of wrangling, members of the bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight are ratcheting back expectations for a deficit reduction breakthrough and now say the best they can probably do is offer ideas for the one fiscal negotiation that will truly matter: talks between President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner that begin in earnest on Friday.
We all know now that there is movement to include taxing the rich to raise needed revenue. That is progress, but doesn’t solve the crisis.
The President’s budget proposal last year was an effort to be specific and was substantive. However, the numbers don’t solve the problem.
Blaming Bush was never a viable solution.
Economic/technical differences: $570 billion (46 percent)
Bush policies: $330 billion (27 percent)
Obama policies: $325 billion (27 percent)
Economic/technical: $815 billion (51 percent)
Bush: $225 billion (14 percent)
Obama: $565 billion (35 percent)
Economic/technical: $720 billion (46 percent)
Bush: $160 billion (10 percent)
Obama: $685 billion (44 percent)”
President Obama’s sprinkle-the-pain-around plan
I have to go back to the Concord Coalition to get any useful insight. The President needs to sit at the table where the deal gets done. He can chat by the fireside and reach us on the internet if he has too.
““The problem with the Obama plan is basically that it doesn’t contain a long-term strategy for tackling the debt, which they will concede,” says Bob Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a group in Arlington, Virginia that advocates deficit reduction.
The president’s plan contrasts with the Republicans’ fiscal goal of a smaller government and a balanced budget over the next decade. Instead, he proposes to reduce the U.S. budget deficit enough to stabilize debt as a share of the economy, preserve social safety-net programs for the poor and elderly and continue spending on education and renewable energy.
Under the detailed annual budget he offered in February, Obama would sprinkle sacrifice around the government, keep defense funding almost flat and seek tax increases as part of a “balanced” plan. The Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, hasn’t been specific as to how he would reach his goals. He wants a spending-only approach to deficit reduction that would cut social programs by more than one-quarter and add money for the Pentagon.”