The President and Vice President of the United States are the only nationally elected officials who are selected by all the voters in the nation. Senators and congressmen have much smaller constituencies. As such, a president needs to make decisions based on what is best for all of the citizens and not just his supporters.
Unfortunately, President Obama seems incapable of acting as President of the United States and would rather be President of the Divided States. Obama´s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act was passed without any Republican support. This is the only time such a major law was passed without bipartisan support. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Civil Rights legislation all had support of both Democrats and Republicans. Obama Care is projected to make a bad situation worse (see The Wrong Way to Do Health Care). Current polls show that the majority of Americans do not want to see Obama Care made into law as is, and the President has unconstitutionally made changes to the law without congressional involvement for political reasons favorable to his party. It seems we don´t need a legislative branch to amend laws when the executive branch wants to do it on its own.
Sometimes a president has to make choices that will offend his base, but is in the best interest of the country. President Nixon, who rose to political prominence after World War II by being a strong anti-communist, surprised many people when he opened relationships with Communist China, meeting with mass murderer Mao Tse Dong. President Reagan signed laws that granted amnesty to illegal immigrants and raised taxes in 1986, not a popular move with many conservatives. President Clinton signed laws that balanced the budget and reformed welfare, not a popular move with many liberals.
Which brings us to President Obama, who enjoys the trappings of office, but continually fails to provide needed leadership to make tough choices. Our health care system is too expenses and needs reforms, but Obama Care only expands a flawed system to cover more people instead of finding ways to cover more people without raising costs.
President Obama´s most egregious failure has been his total unwillingness to tackle the uncontrolled growth of government spending. He commission a blue ribbon panel, the Simpson-Bowles Commission to come up with recommendations to fix Washington´s overspending problem and then completely ignored all of its recommendations. This imbalance of insufficient revenues to cover promised benefits in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security has been known for decades. President Clinton even had plans to address this problem but it was sidetracked by the Lewinsky scandal.
We need tax reform to cut special interest tax breaks and eliminate the bad policy of reckless borrowing that expects future generations to repay money spent on us. We need to fix Social Security so that all the money does not run out before current younger tax payers retire. And most of all we need to fix Medicare and Medicaid so the projected unfunded liabilities don´t bankrupt our country. These are big issues requiring a strong leader as president.
Nixon opened China.
Reagan granted citizenship to illegal aliens.
Clinton cut the welfare rolls.
Well, he kept his favorite federally funded golf course open during the government shutdown.
Is Obama inherently incapable of providing the needed national leadership?
If you liked this post, be sure to share it by selecting one of the share buttons below.
If you would like to get a notice of future posts, choose the Follow option at the bottom of this blog.