John Bolton

John Bolton

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Obama Continues to Fail Leadership Test as Fiscal Proposals are Yet Another Political Stunt

UPDATE: Obama rejects GOP $4.6 trillion deficit reduction package! GOP leaders put forward a plan that would have solved the problem without raising taxes. Since Democrats insist on playing class warfare games and would soak the rich (which wouldn't generate enough money to matter) the issue remains at a stalemate. Democrats insist their plan of massive tax increases is "balanced" but with no evidence of any seriousness for real spending reduction.

Once again, Obama's attitude is do it my way or else!

Someone needs to tell him that the campaign is over. It's time to govern; if he knows how!

Here we go again. Another fiscal crisis which is nothing more than the last fiscal crisis kicked down the road past the election. And once again, as in all the other so-called crises, Obama fails to step up to the challenge of presidential leadership. Instead we are entering another round of mendacious campaign speeches in which he paints GOP principles featuring lower spending and job creation as tax cuts for the rich and accuses them of wanting to poison the air and water and let old people and children die. At the start of his latest round of campaigning Obama said that Republicans want to take away Christmas for the Middle Class. He told one group that if the GOP plan is adopted “That’s sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas. That’s a Scrooge Christmas.” Does that sound like the kind of presidential leadership that will bring both sides together for a deal?

In the opening salvo of this latest barrage of Obama's continuing divisive and partisan assault he put forward a plan that is so obviously designed to offend good sense that many believe he wants the talks to fail. Obama's plan is loaded with billions in new spending on Democrat goodies with any talk of cuts put off until next year and no guarantee that any will be made. Obama is also demanding the biggest tax increase in American history. But the most obvious non starter is a demand that Congress relinquish power to control the debt ceiling and hand that over to Obama. It would be like giving the bank robber the combination to the vault! If this is the "balanced" approach Obama's aides keep talking about then they are more incompetent than we thought.

Fortunately for Obama he won't have to explain to Americans how a deal to avert fiscal disaster is instead a vehicle for more of the wasteful spending that got us into the mess in the first place. He can count on an affirmative action news media that will be all too happy to ignore the spending and go after Republicans for playing "Scrooge" at Christmas. And if Republicans walk away Obama knows he can paint them as the problem and get away with it.

At the Wall Street Journal Kimberly Strassel made some good observations:

This Unserious White House
The president makes the GOP a fiscal-cliff offer he knows they will refuse.
By Kimberly Strassel
Wall Street Journal
November 29, 2012

How to put this tax-and-more-spending offer in perspective? It is far in excess of what the Democrats asked for in last year's debt-limit standoff—when the political configuration in Washington was exactly the same. It is far more than the president's own Democratic Senate has ever been able to pass, even with a filibuster-proof majority. It is far more than the president himself campaigned on this year.

But the president's offer is very much in keeping with his history of insisting that every negotiation consist of the other side giving him everything he wants. That approach has given him the reputation as the modern president least able to forge a consensus.

Mr. Obama's tendency to campaign rather than lead, to speechify rather than negotiate, has already defined this lame-duck session. The president has wasted weeks during which a framework for a deal has been in place.

Within two days of the election, Mr. Boehner had offered an enormous compromise, committing the GOP to provide new tax revenue, through limits on deductions for the wealthy. Mr. Obama campaigned on making "the rich" pay more—and that is exactly what Mr. Boehner agreed to give him.

All that was left for the president to do was accept this peace offering, pair it with necessary spending cuts, and take credit for averting a crisis. Mr. Obama has instead spent the past weeks campaigning for tax-rate hikes. He wants the revenue, but collected only the way he chooses. And on the basis of that ideological insistence alone, the nation is much closer to a crisis.

Talks that had been at a standstill may now crumble, thanks to the Geithner-Nabors proposal. The president is boxing in the Republicans—offering them a deal they cannot accept, a deal they can't even be seen to be treating seriously. Mr. Boehner is legitimately interested in a bargain that will set the country on sounder footing. Yet the most immediate outcome of such an open slap from the White House will be to make even those Republicans who were willing to cut a deal harden their positions. Someone get the White House a copy of "Negotiating Tactics for Dummies."
What Strassel and others have figured out is that Obama really doesn't want a deal. He's unable or unwilling to break free from campaign mode and act as an honest negotiator in the national interest. And since we know the affirmative action media will continue to cover up for his failings, there's no reason he should change. Americans will continue to suffer economically as a result!

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