If Obama goes big and dares to lead,he will win and so will the United States
Last week,Politico reported that since announcing his re-election bid,President Barack Obamas campaign has been struggling to find a slogan to sum up his reason for running. Hes cycled through Winning the Future, We Cant Wait, An America Built to Last, A Fair Shot. So far,the most accurate slogan for Obamas campaign would have to be: Im not Mitt Romney. And when you consider that Romney a former liberal Republican governor has spent the whole campaign disavowing his past,for the first time in history both candidates could legitimately run on the same slogan: Im not Mitt Romney.
And thats our problem. Romney has embraced the Republican budget drawn up by Rep. Paul Ryan that proposes to shrink our long-term structural deficit in a way that not only would make the rich richer and the poor poorer,but would deprive the country of the very discretionary spending required to do what we need most: nation-building at home.
What do we need from a presidential candidate today? We need a credible plan to do three specific things: cut,tax and invest. As the economy improves,we need to cut spending,including all entitlement programs,to fix our long-term structural deficit. We also need to raise revenue through tax reform so we dont shred our safety nets and so we still have resources,not only for defence,but to invest in all the things that have made us great as a country: education,infrastructure,quality government institutions and government-funded research. Finally,the plan has to win bipartisan support,so the candidate advocating it not only wins the election but has a mandate to implement his plan afterward.
The Ryan-Romney budget fails that test. As Maya MacGuineas,the president of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget,notes: It does not protect the truly disadvantaged, and it doesnt put tax increases for the wealthy on the table, so it has zero chance of bipartisan support.
Obama has proposed his own 10-year budget. It is better than Ryans at balancing our near-term need to revitalise the pillars of American success,by cutting,taxing and investing. But it does not credibly address the countrys long-term fiscal imbalances,which require cuts in Medicare and Social Security.
So the president,too,lacks a long-term plan to cut,spend and invest at the scale we need in a way to win enough bipartisan support to make it implementable. This gets to my core difference with the presidents strategy. He should have accepted his own Simpson-Bowles deficit commission because it offered a plan to cut and tax that was at the scale of the problem and enjoyed at least some GOP support,had the overwhelming backing of independents and even Nancy Pelosi,the minority leader,says she felt fully ready to vote for that.
If Obama had embraced the long-term deficit commission,he would have had a chance of combining it with some near-term stimulus investments in infrastructure that would have helped the economy and grown jobs. Without pairing it with Simpson-Bowles,Obama had no chance of getting more stimulus.
Obama says his plan incorporates the best of Simpson-Bowles. Not only is that not true,but it misses the politics. Republicans will never vote for an Obama plan. But had Obama embraced the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles, and added his own stimulus,he would have split the GOP,attracted independents,and been able to honestly look the country in the eye and say he had a plan to fix what needs fixing. Instead,Obama is running on a sub-optimal plan when we must have optimal and the slogan Im not Mitt Romney. If hes lucky,he might win by a whisker. If Obama went big,and dared to lead,hed win for sure,and so would the country,because hed have a mandate to do what needs doing.
- Jitu Rai books Rio 2016 berth
Jitu finished behind South Korea’s double Olympic Champion Jin Jongoh in a closely contested final. ..
- For Lionel Messi,time is the best medicine in World Cup year
Barcelona and Argentina will do well to wait for the 27-year old to return to full fitness...
- Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq claim Falluja as independent state’
In one area of Falluja,a militant said over a mosque loudspeaker,"We are Gods rule on Earth."..