Judd Gregg: Where's Obama as Debt Deal Falters?

Monday, 21 Nov 2011 09:54 AM

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As the supercommittee limped toward failure, President Barack Obama could be found in Hawaii. The president’s absence during a crisis is nothing new, former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg writes in an Op-Ed at The Hill.

“Throughout his term, President Obama has avoided leading on the issue of fiscal responsibility,” writes Gregg, a Republican who also was New Hampshire's governor and a U.S. representative. “He walked away from his own commission, the one led by former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming, and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, when he found its report filled with inconvenient choices.

“Now in a week when leadership is needed to push this critical committee to do something big and bring the nation’s fiscal house back into order, the president once again disappears. It causes one to wonder, why?”

Gregg believes that Obama does not see much benefit in straightening out the national fiscal problems because it would slow the growth of government and curtail taxes.

“This idea of expanded government meshes perfectly with the message of class warfare that has been chosen as the course to reelection for Obama and his minions in Congress. After all, the only effective way to deal with class envy and create a truly divided nation is to take from those who are deemed to have too much and redistribute that take. And who better to choose how to redistribute than the elite of the left, who have flocked to the battlements of expanding government, demanding permission to choose the winners and losers in our society?”

However, by taking this course, Obama probably is missing his best chance at re-election. If he stepped up, he would restore confidence in a public that sees a “Congress that does not work and a president who does not lead.”

“It might be a nice change of pace to see a little leadership from the president, even if it means he has to put aside his desire to see the government grow long enough to help himself get reelected and help Americans feel good about their government again,” Gregg concluded.

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