Sunday, July 31, 2011

A chance for presidential leadership

What we need and what we haven't had is real Presidential leadership, involving toughness and risk-taking. So far Obama has ineffectually cajoled in public and bargained in private.

First, the President should unveil, in detail, a plan involving both spending cuts and revenue increases. This should embody the "balance" that he mentioned in his recent television address. Polls both before and after this address show that a very substantial majority of Americans support such a proposal. By following up on his speech, he can make it clear that it is not the Democrats who oppose a balanced approach, but the Republicans. By including tax increases on the wealthy, he not only comes across as favoring a fair approach with widespread support, but he will make it clear exactly who opposes it.

This plan must be presented as the final, take-it-or-leave it proposal, and he must ask both houses of Congress to put it to a vote immediately, since time is of the essence. All along, he must emphasize the compromise nature of his bill, and dare the Republicans to break from Tea Screamer tyranny and vote for the good of the country. He must emphasize the compromise part which includes budget cuts.

I think it is unlikely that Republicans care more about the dangers of default than they do about the TeaScreamers running candidates against them in the primaries. Nevertheless, the compromise nature of the President's proposal must be crystal clear.

If, as seems likely, the PTR won't go along with this compromise, the President must, on grounds of national emergency, invoke the 14th amendment to the Constitution and declare the nation's debt -- already incurred, as so few people seem to understand -- to be undeniably valid. He should dare anyone to sue him over his effort to save us from default, and ask the American people to note who argues for a law suit in the face of financial anarchy.

I believe that most of Wall Street would applaud and support this Presidential policy.

Let's see some Presidential spunk, action, and leadership for a change. It's what FDR would have done. If he can't find it in his heart to act with authority and courage, I don't think he is worthy of re-election. In fact, what would we be re-electing him to? The presidency of an emasculated, uncaring country in thrall to a handful of Screaming ignoramuses, themselves backed by a small group of unpatriotic and greedy corporate tycoons.

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