Fiddling while Rome burns
"Lacking basic leadership"
"Lacking basic leadership"
Those are the candid descriptions of Mr. Obama provided to listeners this morning on WLS AM 890 radio by US Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI).
On May 25th, Senator Johnson had sent the President a letter signed by another 22 Senators regarding our budget crisis and the debt ceiling.
WASHINGTON- Yesterday, 22 Senators joined Senator Ron Johnson (WI) in sending a letter to President Obama. The letter calls on the Administration to develop a contingency plan, in case Congress rejects a debt ceiling increase.
The letter stated:
"We believe it is irresponsible to ignore the broken political system and the very real possibility that the debt ceiling might not be raised in time. And we believe it is irresponsible not to develop robust contingency plans now - just in case...
"We are calling on your Administration to immediately begin working with budget experts in Congress to allocate spending within a $2.6 trillion Debt Ceiling Budget. All agency heads should then be instructed to develop plans to make sure essential services would be funded on a priority basis.
"Taking responsible action now will avert a crisis in the future."
Recently, Secretary Geithner said "our plan is for Congress to pass the debt limit. Our fallback plan is for Congress to pass the debt limit, and our fallback to the fallback plan is for Congress to pass the debt limit." Senator Johnson's joint letter calls upon the Administration to develop a 'Plan B.' Johnson has argued that having a plan for all contingencies is the best way to reassure financial markets - the stated goal of the Obama Administration.
A full copy of that letter can be found here.
He and several of those Senators then had a face to face follow up meeting with Mr. Obama regarding that letter, the debt ceiling, and our nation's budget difficulties. According to the Senator, while the meeting was cordial, Mr. Obama has a rather dismissive and unserious posture on the entire situation.
How about going over two years without passing a budget? The President should be out in front of this but he is not -- he doesn't care. The media should be hounding the White House over this lack of leadership. Instead they are focused on pictures of some politician's underwear posted on Facebook.
How about the blunt fact that the one budget created by Mr. Obama was unanimously voted down 97-0 by the Democratically controlled Senate just two weeks ago. Mr. Obama did not collect a single vote for his budget -- not even from within his own political party. How often in the history of Congress has that ever happened? It is safe to say that the budget sent by Mr. Obama was a signal of his intent to do nothing but play games and politics. This is not leadership.
Once again, our nation has reached yet another debt ceiling, and the Treasury Secretary, the Democrats in Congress, and the media are pushing to pass yet another extension without any attempt to correct the source of the problem: out of control spending.
Keep in mind that the President and the Democrats have, quite literally, no alternative. Yes, the Ryan plan has problems. True, it is imperfect and it makes some assumptions that might not be correct. Yes, it glosses over some issues with our entitlements. Yet, the Democratic Party has nothing to offer, we have to begin somewhere-and soon. Yet we have no leadership.
When it comes to our nation's finances and spending our money, our President is both irresponsible and rudderless. His actions say that he does not seem to care, and he does not want to lead.
Call it irresponsible. Call it a total lack of leadership. Call it incompetent.
Better than that: call your elected representatives and get them to apply pressure to the administration and the Democratic Party. They need to grow up and start doing the job they were elected to do.
Because we need a genuine leader, but we've got Mr. Obama instead.