BOLD LEADERSHIP or CAVING IN
I very much appreciate the Presidents'seemingly impossible task of effectively coping with the intense pressure associated in negotiating a fair and reasonable budget for both 2011 and 2012. He must represent all the American people and in so doing make necessary compromises even when he himself has to make many uncomfortable and disagreeable choices.
And while he can hardly be accused of being impulsive and shooting from the hip as was his predecessor' style - he is still open to criticism. The major criticism is that in his attempt to be a centrist because of the extremism of the Republican positions Obama actually finds himself way to the right of center.
Instead of shared pain the budget agreement of 2011 undeniably favors the very rich and the corporations, while mostly hurting the poor, the elderly, and the middle class.
The Republican's mantras of "jobs job jobs" and "everything is on the table" are seen to be nothing more than reasonable sounding but hollow rhetoric. Their proposals actually eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs and the very mention of the possibility of increased taxes is dismissed as a non starter.
Now the American people can see that key choices including the ill conceived war in Iraq estimated to have cost 4 trillion dollars, the extension of the reductions for the rich, the elimination of the estate taxes, the slap on the wrists on the banks, the drum beat for austerity instead of necessary expansion in a time of great pain, the cockeyed and horrendous insensitivity to cut such necessary programs as head start, and senior citizen fuel subsidies, is obvious and transparent but treated as if the very soul of our country was on the line.
In my opinion only President Obama has the necessary force and command to push back the tide of meanness, unfairness, insensitivity, greed, selfishness, by boldly proclaiming a more equitable distribution of priorities - one which truly enables all the people to suffer shared sacrifice at this time of great difficulty.
I hope the President Obama will muster all of his intelligence, sensitivity, fair mindedness, to outline a budget proposal that captures the best that America has to offer. I wish him well and hope that he will demonstrate inspired leadership. We will know the outcome very shortly.