America stands at a cross-roads and the next four years could be a period of complete economic stagnation coupled with continually exploding national debt edging the United States to a Greece-like fate with an ever diminishing position of power in the world, or it could be a period of recovery, healing and restoration of America’s world status. President Obama has been given another for years to form America’s political path. Which Obama will return to office, the arrogant and dismissive man who did not even speak to Republican leadership for the last year of his first term and who rammed Obamacare down the throats of a disapproving American people, or a new man who will reach across the aisle to work with Republicans?
I would say that it should be obvious to President Obama that the 2012 election was in no way a mandate of his policies, but then this is the man who thought he won the first Presidential debate until even MSNBC made it clear that he was delusional. What is clear is that Obama can no longer blame Bush for his continued failings (although one his campaign spokesman was quoted as saying “an economic crisis of this severity could take 8-10 years to fix.”) Obama operated in his last two years of his first term as if he was campaigning rather than governing. He has just won his last election before he can collect his $500,000 a year for life plus benefits government pension, and as he told Russian President Putin he “will have more flexibility to govern in his last term.”
In his second term President Clinton moved to the middle, worked with Republicans and helped restore a thriving United States economy. Many from the right will say that Clinton’s success was due to external factors and luck, but the truth is that Clinton did move to the middle, did create new bridges to the Republican party and was far more effective in his second term than he had been in his first.
If President Obama makes this unexpected move to the middle, I am hopeful that Republicans will work with him to restore our economy, to create jobs and to stop the explosive growth of our national debt. Controlling the House, Republicans can block much of what the President’s agenda if the President doesn’t extend an olive branch. Compromising and working with Republicans is the only hope the President has to push through any significant legislative changes. There are several incredibly frightening deadlines staring the country in the face in the next few months that will have huge consequences likely throwing the country into a recession/depression far deeper than the one President Obama inherited.
President Obama has failed to have any budget approved by Congress since April 29, 2009. If you run your own business it would be unthinkable to operate without a clear and detailed budget for a single year let alone more than three years. (Failure to adopt budget) Because of this failure, both parties (I could never figure out the Republican’s complicity with this one) entered into a politically expedient agreement that put off tax and budgetary decisions until after the election. This decision came with a ticking time bomb called sequestration.
President Obama has already blown through the “final” deadline of September 6 and unless agreement can be reached by all parties then the Department of Defense will immediately suffer an 11% budget reduction which will lead to at least 100,000 eliminated jobs. All other federal departments are likely to suffer similar budget reductions. (Impact of sequestration) Needless to say, this kind of irresponsible, partisan action is likely to throw the country into an economic free fall. The automatic triggers of sequestration can only be avoided by a truly bipartisan effort which will require the President to make a real effort to work with Republicans.
Needless to say, I am dubious that the President has it in him. I think he is a deeply arrogant man who thinks that he is simply right and that everyone else is simply wrong. As stated earlier, not only did Obama not try to work with Republicans in the past two years, he has rarely even spoken to them. There is really not even time to let the election wounds heal. If efforts are not immediately started to create agreement, the draconian impacts of sequestration will become a reality. I really hope that I am wrong, but I am not holding my breath.