Friday, July 08, 2011

Is President Obama Serious About Debt Ceiling Negotiations?

In a recent op-ed published at National Review Online, Ted Cruz wrote:
“Congress should hold the line, and demand serious fiscal reforms before any possibility of a debt increase…. President Obama’s scare tactics, warning of a debt default and a global economic meltdown, are not productive. Instead, the president should listen to the voice of the people — expressed overwhelmingly at the ballot box in 2010.”

The problem with the debt ceiling negotiations has been a lack of leadership during the meeting process. Who exactly is calling the shots? President Obama continues with his habit of absence during decision making times - he wants to appear above the fray, not getting his hands dirty - and then he reverses course. He puts Joe Biden in charge and that fails miserably. He is invited by the GOP leadership to meet with them and declines the invitation. Then he holds a press conference with the White House press corps and says Congress should stay in town and do its job over the July 4th recess. Then he holds a mini summit with leaders of both parties. He says he will roll up his sleeves and go to work with them.

Really? Which Obama is anyone to believe? The one who refuses to get involved or the one who wants to be in the thick of it all? One press report stated that he has cancelled a planned weekend vacation in Montana. Maybe he will be serious this time.

The American voter is confused and frustrated. They hear a president demanding everyone do their jobs and then read that he went off and did more fundraisers for his own re-election. They hear a president beseech them to set aside petty partisan differences and work together for the sake of the country only to hear him mock and bully his opponents at a press conference. They hear a president state that the political discourse must be toned down - we need a 'new tone' - and then they hear him say that his opponents can't be allowed to hold the economic recovery of our country hostage, with holding a gun to the head of negotiators.

President Obama has yet to learn that leadership comes from the top down. He sets the tone, he sets the agenda. He has yet to truly understand the depth of the elections results from last November.

Ted Cruz ended the piece with this from Thomas Jefferson:

Jefferson addressed directly our present crisis: “We shall consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life [expectancy] of the majority.”

Jefferson was right. And now is the time for real leadership, to significantly reduce government spending, to eliminate our national deficit and debt, and to protect future generations of Americans.

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