President Barack Obama has dropped the ball when it comes to solving the government’s debt crisis — $16 trillion and counting, according to journalist Bob Woodward.
“He worked on it, but he didn't carry it over the finish line — and you have to look at these things not for effort, but for results.,” Woodward told Sean Hannity Wednesday night, agreeing with the Fox News host that the president should have — and could have — done more to confront the national debt.
“One thing I would agree with you on is that it’s beyond unsustainable. . . . New tax increases, spending cuts, and so forth,” said Woodward, author of the new book, "The Price of Politics," which focuses on last year’s struggle between the White and House and Congress over debt.
“But the real problem is going to be in February when of necessity — whoever is president — is going to have to go to the Congress and say: ‘We need another trillion dollars, maybe $2 trillion in borrowing authority to pay our debts,”’ Woodward said. “I mean, this is your conservative message which people should [be aware of] — whether they agree with you or not.”
The debt issue is likely the most important one our nation faces, with inaction possibly triggering a depression worse than the 1930s, Woodward said. However, he added, the president isn’t clueless as to the severity of the issue.
“To Obama's credit, when I talked to him a couple months ago, I think he in a way exquisitely is tuned into all of this,” Woodward said. “As we’ve talked about: He’s a progressive Democrat, but he’s a smart guy. He knows you’ve got to fix this.”
However, the fact that the debt crisis is being discussed on the campaign trail — to the extent it’s being discussed at all — isn’t helpful, Woodward said.
“One of the things the president has said is that we’ve cut $1 trillion” from the deficit, he said. “Not so. It's all postponed to 2013. Gov. Romney has said we're going to do things with the tax code, we're going to cut everyone's taxes and get more money. I’m not clear how that's going to happen.”
Whoever is elected is “going to have to do some really unpopular things,” Woodward said.
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