An Adult Conversation about the Budget
Washington, April 18, 2011
Tags: Fiscal Responsibility
“Following on the heels of his election, President Obama claimed he wanted to begin a serious conversation with Republicans that could lead to bipartisan consensus on issues facing our nation. At the 2010 Republican retreat in Baltimore, he asked;
“At what point can we have a serious conversation about Medicare and its long-term liability, or a serious conversation about Social Security or a serious conversation about budget and debt where we’re not simply trying to position ourselves politically? That's what I'm committed to doing.”
“If only he had meant what he said.
“After putting out an annual budget two months ago that did absolutely nothing to address the deficit threatening our nation’s future, on Thursday President Obama made a half-hearted attempt at a 180, putting forth an un-detailed deficit reduction plan in response to Chairman Paul Ryan’s FY2012 budget. He also completely reversed his previous commitment to finding bipartisan consensus, calling Mr. Ryan’s plan un-American and dishonest, and, incredibly, claiming that Republicans are committed not to deficit reduction but to pitting ‘children with autism or Down syndrome’ against ‘every millionaire and billionaire in our society.’
“Americans have grown tired of the constant bickering, politicking, and gridlock that have defined their government for the last several years. They know that the deficit is the greatest threat our nation faces, and they are ready to have an honest look at all possible solutions.
“We need to have this conversation now. Let’s ignore the politically divisive and patently false claims that one side wants to ‘throw the elderly or poor under the bus,’ or that the other side wants to ‘weaken our national defense and embolden terrorists.’ This debate is too important to get bogged down with that kind of rhetoric.
“That said, the differences between President Obama’s plan and House Republicans’ plan to tackle the debt are vast.
“The American people are demanding real solutions to our debt crisis, and we need a plan that offers more than partisan platitudes. While the Republican plan may not be perfect, it is a first step toward facing down our challenges.”