Why Won’t Obama Lead?

From Doug Terry:

“Pressed on why his budget did not adopt the major recommendations of his fiscal commission, Obama said that the plan still provides a framework for debate.

The notion that it has been shelved, I think is incorrect” Obama said. “It still provides a framework for the conversation.

Come on?!! How stupid does he think we are?

This is not a matter of you go first or I go first. This is a matter of everyone having a conversation of where we want to go … then getting in the boat at the same time so it doesn’t tip over,” he added.

Ultimately, what we need is a reasonable, responsible and initially probably somewhat quiet and toned-down conversation about, ‘all right, where can we compromise and get something done, he said.

Every budget we see says it will reduce the deficit over the next decade, but just not right now.  In a year like 2011, with the sovereign problems so front and center, after the fiscal commission spoke its peace, which received a generally positive response and after the results of mid-term election results you’d think that the man in the country’s top leadership position would ACT and not plea for for rhetoric.  This is Failure, failure to lead, failure to enact the will of the people and arguably failure to act as trustee to the country and its future.  At the end of the day he is a coward, and he doesn’t know what to do.  He is scared of his own party, he is scared of the Republicans, he is scared of what his own legacy might be.

No one wants to address the Elephant in the room, it is political suicide.  Someone with the character to lead may suffer self-destruction today, but would be immortalized tomorrow. “

Obama is acting like a politician, like a Senator just trying to cut another deal. What this budget represents is the maximum Obama thinks he can get away with politically. In a sense it tells us a lot about what he really believes about the role of government in our society. He tried spending 25% of GDP the last two years and it cost him the House. Does he really believe that scaling it back to 23% will get him re-elected? That appears to be the guiding principle of the document. A leader would offer a plan that actually accomplishes something now rather than ten years down the road, if at all. A politician would offer…well, this.

This budget reveals President Obama for what he has always been – a politician craving power for the sake of power. Does he really believe that spending 25% of GDP is the size of government that maximizes societal welfare? Apparently not, since he has never offered a budget that spends that much and also pays for it. He hasn’t even offered a budget with a deficit less than GDP growth that would at least keep debt as a % of GDP constant. If he believes that raising government spending to 23% of GDP permanently is the right answer, why doesn’t he offer up the tax increases to pay for it? If he is right, the economy should be in great shape come election day and he’ll coast to a second term.

I don’t think President Obama has a clue how economically important it is to get something done on the budget as soon as possible. As I said in the weekend update, QE II provides a window of opportunity to address the budget issue and the politicians better get through it. If QE II ends without a positive solution for the budget that includes pro growth tax reform, President Obama will not have to worry himself about re-election. A recession is a bad time to ask the American public for a contract extension.

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