In a tacit admission that he had failed to provide leadership on the deficit, President Obama wanted a do-over. Last week he gave a speech to try and regain the high ground and compete with the serious proposal offered by Ryan. Instead, he offered a campaign-style partisan response that only served to diminish him.
In last week’s newsletter, I proposed two big tests by which to measure the president’s plan to tackle our looming deficit crisis.
The first was whether his plan would create jobs or destroy them. Trying to balance the budget without addressing unemployment is futile. The most immediate step necessary to move towards a balanced budget is to employ the policies that lead to job-creation. The more people moved off the welfare roll and onto payrolls will decrease the need for food stamps and unemployment compenstation. Working people pay tax dollars instead of receiving them through welfare.
The second was whether his plan to control the cost of entitlements relied on merely squeezing the current systems through rationing, reduced benefits and cost controls or if he proposed fundamental structural reforms that would deliver better results at lower costs.
On both tests, the president failed spectacularly.