The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

President Obama’s moment of truth

When President Obama addresses Congress Thursday night, he doesn’t need to unveil a comprehensive “go big” economic plan. That’s because he already has one, thanks to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also known as the Bowles-Simpson commission. The president would be wise to fully tie himself to the commission’s recommendations and prove he’s serious by putting its authors in charge of his economic team.

In December 2010, the Bowles-Simpson commission produced a comprehensive report for the president that called for lowering the national debt and slashing annual deficits through tough, but doable, budget cuts. The president later endorsed this plan in — of course — a well-written speech, yet he has not made a serious effort since then to implement the commission’s recommendations. The president has always been a master of rhetoric and political gamesmanship. That will surely continue. But with a recent Gallup poll showing that only 26 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the economy, he needs to move beyond bombast and take bold action to restore his administration’s credibility on economic policy. Credibility will lead to confidence, and consumers and businesses regaining confidence is the critical first step to economic recovery.

Unfortunately, there is a gap between the president’s promises and his results, between his campaign commitments to make hard choices and be honest with the American people and his timidity and partisan chastising. That gap has led the American people to question the president’s leadership. As a result, he has lost much of their confidence.

It is abundantly clear to everyone, including even those working at the White House, that the president’s historic economic policies have not delivered anything close to their promised impact. That is precisely why more empty promises and finger-pointing will ring hollow. The president needs to chart a new course that includes a major change in policy, some new personnel and a commitment to hard choices.

The president needs to go beyond embracing just the language of the Bowles-Simpson commission as a roadmap for his administration, and embrace the authors themselves, by hiring them to lead his charge for economic growth. The commission’s report recognized that getting Washington to live within its means would require painful choices. Empowering its authors would send a powerful message to Congress that the current way of doing business must end.

Erskine Bowles, succeeding Tim Geithner as Treasury secretary, could adeptly work with the congressional super-committee on meaningful comprehensive tax reform as outlined in the commission’s final report. Former Senator Alan Simpson could take over the Office of Management and Budget and act as a deregulatory czar and budget balancer. Both would be able to rely on their commission work and hefty reputations to advance pro-growth policies through executive orders while credibly working with Congress on broad reform. Their leadership of the commission gives them a depth of understanding of the policy challenges we face, the politics surrounding them and the spectrum of possible solutions.

Putting this bipartisan team in place would send a signal to lawmakers that the administration is finally serious about implementing policies that will renew growth in our economy — not just talking about them. It would allow consumers, businesses and markets to see that the president values the future of the country more than his own re-election.

  • peeetrgriffn

    Obama would need to change a lot more than he is capable of in order to face up to the fiscal problems outlined in the Bowles-Simpson report. The parties are so polarized that even sensible and logical compromises are not being implemented as our economy struggles. If Obama were to decide to follow the advice of the Bowles-Simpson report, he would be implementing strategies that fly directly in the face of his agenda. His base would scream bloody murder. He will be offering up a plan of some sort that has no chance of being acceptable to conservatives. The blame game will continue. The scariest part of all this for me is the fact that I have yet to see a Republican candidate that I feel is qualified for the job of president. Who is going to be able to step in and make a difference that will unite our political parties with common sense and real solutions that will work? At this point in time I believe Obama has a good chance of re-election if the stock market is doing well and unemployment is trending down when we get close to election day next year. My 2 cents.  

  • peeetrgriffn

    Obama would need to change a lot more than he is capable of in order to face up to the fiscal problems outlined in the Bowles-Simpson report. The parties are so polarized that even sensible and logical compromises are not being implemented as our economy struggles. If Obama were to decide to follow the advice of the Bowles-Simpson report, he would be implementing strategies that fly directly in the face of his agenda. His base would scream bloody murder. He will be offering up a plan of some sort that has no chance of being acceptable to conservatives. The blame game will continue. The scariest part of all this for me is the fact that I have yet to see a Republican candidate that I feel is qualified for the job of president. Who is going to be able to step in and make a difference that will unite our political parties with common sense and real solutions that will work? At this point in time I believe Obama has a good chance of re-election if the stock market is doing well and unemployment is trending down when we get close to election day next year. My 2 cents.  

  • peeetrgriffn

    Obama would need to change a lot more than he is capable of in order to face up to the fiscal problems outlined in the Bowles-Simpson report. The parties are so polarized that even sensible and logical compromises are not being implemented as our economy struggles. If Obama were to decide to follow the advice of the Bowles-Simpson report, he would be implementing strategies that fly directly in the face of his agenda. His base would scream bloody murder. He will be offering up a plan of some sort that has no chance of being acceptable to conservatives. The blame game will continue. The scariest part of all this for me is the fact that I have yet to see a Republican candidate that I feel is qualified for the job of president. Who is going to be able to step in and make a difference that will unite our political parties with common sense and real solutions that will work? At this point in time I believe Obama has a good chance of re-election if the stock market is doing well and unemployment is trending down when we get close to election day next year. My 2 cents.  

  • peeetrgriffn

    Obama would need to change a lot more than he is capable of in order to face up to the fiscal problems outlined in the Bowles-Simpson report. The parties are so polarized that even sensible and logical compromises are not being implemented as our economy struggles. If Obama were to decide to follow the advice of the Bowles-Simpson report, he would be implementing strategies that fly directly in the face of his agenda. His base would scream bloody murder. He will be offering up a plan of some sort that has no chance of being acceptable to conservatives. The blame game will continue. The scariest part of all this for me is the fact that I have yet to see a Republican candidate that I feel is qualified for the job of president. Who is going to be able to step in and make a difference that will unite our political parties with common sense and real solutions that will work? At this point in time I believe Obama has a good chance of re-election if the stock market is doing well and unemployment is trending down when we get close to election day next year. My 2 cents.  

  • Sproing

    I hope that no one is holding their breath waiting for the President to change from an ugly worm into a butterfly. He is what he is and no amount of media bias and spin is going to change the way more and more voters are seeing him. Some for the first time since he burst on the political scene as some sort of rock star. In fact his campaign was more fitting of some Hollywood or Motown biggie then it was for a President of the most powerful nation on Earth.

    He is as superficial as Chance the gardener in “Being There”, and has little real ability to lead from behind or ahead.

  • Sproing

    I hope that no one is holding their breath waiting for the President to change from an ugly worm into a butterfly. He is what he is and no amount of media bias and spin is going to change the way more and more voters are seeing him. Some for the first time since he burst on the political scene as some sort of rock star. In fact his campaign was more fitting of some Hollywood or Motown biggie then it was for a President of the most powerful nation on Earth.

    He is as superficial as Chance the gardener in “Being There”, and has little real ability to lead from behind or ahead.

  • Pragmatist

    Another day, another speech. Apart from die-hard liberals straining to hear some shred of hope for a turnaround in 2012, NOBODY is still listening to Obama. He’s become the political equivalent of Charlie Brown’s teacher and like her, when he speaks, all we hear is “Wah, wah, wah.”

  • Untwistedethos

    Building the US economy is contrary to the de-growth mandates of Agenda 21 being implemented since 1993 by the President’s Council for Sustainable Development.  Therefore, all BHO will do is talk and allow the economy and the US power to wane.  Remember, ‘Energy costs must necessarily skyrocket’ which is the clue to all his policies.  

  • obamasmichelle

    Obama knows nothing about ‘TRUTH’ – couldn’t say it, couldn’t do it – if his life depended on it

  • obamasmichelle

    Obama knows nothing about ‘TRUTH’ – couldn’t say it, couldn’t do it – if his life depended on it