Commentary | For the second time this week, President Obama addressed the nation on the fiscal cliff. He arrived at the podium 35 minutes late for a scheduled 5: 00 pm EST speech and spoke for less than 10 minutes. After spending weeks telling the Republicans that he would not compromise or negotiate on the the financial crisis facing the nation, he came out today and said the Democrats and Republicans need to work together to solve the crisis. He suggested that Congress write a bill that would prevent a tax hike for middle and low income Americans and address the issue of tax hikes for wealthy Americans at a later date. Once again, it seems the President is simply kicking the can down the road.
Frankly, political pundits and commentators will probably note that Obama’s speech sounded more like a locker room pep talk than an address on the economic disaster looming over the heads of Americans. Every citizen of this country, from the overcrowded inner city tenements to the mansions on the hill, is sure to be baffled by the absolute lack of leadership and new ideas expressed by Mr Obama this afternoon.
In reality, this is Obama doing what he does best. Saying exactly what he needs to say to put the pressure someone else and absolving himself of blame when disaster strikes. He invoked the great and terrible Washington god of bipartisanship and after the country plunges over the cliff, he will chastise Congress for failing to act.
Our current President seems completely determined to crave a place of distinction for himself in the history books and in the hearts and minds of Americans. Mr. President, the success you crave requires leadership, fresh ideas and a genuine willingness to negotiate with the opposition in Washington to repair the economy and put Americans back to work.
Trotting out Joe Biden to act like the White House pit bull will not solve this crisis. Allowing Harry Reid to block every reasonable Republican bill sent to the Senate from the House Of Representatives is certainly not the answer nor is it remotely excusable to allow Senator Reid to prevent almost every budget from coming to a vote for the past four years.
The Republican are no better. They seem absolutely devoted to obstructing the President at every opportunity. Many Americans are convinced the Republicans in Congress would rather see the country go broke than agree with anything the President suggests to fix the economy. It is time for the Republican party to become the loyal opposition and work with the President to rebuild our nation.
The American people are not fools. They know the primary goal of each party is to do as much damage to the opposition as possible and passing new laws to benefit the citizens of this nation takes a backseat to winning at all costs. The voters resent the gridlock in Washington and if it continues, there will be more Senators and Representatives writing their memoirs or joining the unemployment line.
Mr. President, if you truly want to earn your place in history, do it by being the first President in generations to put aside politics as usual and get this country back on track. Stop spending more than you take in and make the painful budget cuts.
Call the the leaders of both parties to the White House, put the coffee on the burner, lock the doors and don’t let anyone leave until an agreement is hammered out. Not an agreement that benefits Democrats or Republicans, but one that benefits each and every American.
Americans are being bled to death by taxes, price increases and the decline in the value of the dollar. Just like each and every one of us, it is time for the Federal Government to learn to live within its means. Raising taxes is not the answer. What will the government do when we have nothing left to give? America can no longer sustain a growing 16 trillion dollar Federal deficit and unrestrained spending. It is simply madness.
Merry Christmas, Mr. President.