The parallels between the ‘Deepwater Horizon’ oil rig and government are uncanny.
Both exploded – the former spewing oil, the latter spewing dollars.
First, we’ll recap the situation in the Gulf; then, address the situation in government.
For weeks and weeks, we waited – some patiently, some impatiently – for signs that engineering experts with BP and the federal government, among others, would find a way to stop the flow of spewing oil.
Continuous media attention eventually turned the focus on federal officials including President Obama due to public charges, with growing credibility at the time that the administration had been “less than fully engaged in efforts to contain the damage” resulting from the spewing oil.
Finally, on May 27, 2010 Mr. Obama began the administration pushback stating at a press conference:
“This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred.”
Pressed further, President Obama responded with: “I’m spending my time thinking about… ‘How do we solve the problem’?”
Then, after using the term “unprecedented” several times, President Obama said: “I take responsibility.”
He added: “It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down.”
Mr. Obama also noted that “he maintains a ‘constant sense of urgency’ and is examining every recommendation to make the best judgment on the appropriate right steps to take.”
Well, the president’s… personal pronouncements – personal involvement – focused attention – demand for results – must have worked.
Because, the good news from the Gulf Coast is… the cap is finally on the well head and the spewing oil has stopped.
So, in recognition, most sincerely: ‘Thank you, Mr. President’!
And, you deserve the vacations – the respite from all the hard work, the time to recharge your batteries.
Well… to be refreshed for your next assignment – which should be: ‘Cap government spending; and, begin cuts now!
Here’s the parallel.
Americans will not soon forget the oil we watched spewing from the well 24/7 on TV.
Hopefully – and with proper care and stewardship – such an industrial accident will not ever happen again.
That said, there is a lesson to be learned from the shared experience of the Deepwater Horizon.
The visual of the out of control oil spewing out of the undersea well-head – kept in our mind’s eye memory – can serve to motivate citizens now to confront the situation in government in which trillions of taxpayer dollars continue to spew from the well-heads of government in Washington as well as most states around the country.
President Obama has an opportunity to lead rather than play politics.
Here’s how he could proceed.
About government spewing trillions of taxpayer dollars, President Obama should say what he said about the spewing oil on May 27th.
Mr. Obama could quote himself and say that “he is responsible.”
And, that ‘stopping the trillions of spewing taxpayer dollars will now be his highest priority.
That he “will maintain a ‘constant sense of urgency’.’
That he will ‘Cap spending now; and immediately begin the cuts.’
And, he will be ‘absolutely receptive to citizen input about how to cap government spending and what program spending to cut now.’
If the president would do exactly what he did to cap the spewing oil, in order to cap the spewing dollars, whether it was actual know-how, luck, or a combination of both that succeeded in capping the spewing oil, we will be able to cap the government well head spewing trillions of dollars.
If the president refuses to act, the relentless pressure on citizen taxpayers will rupture American society.
But, if Mr. Obama wants to save America he will cap government spending now.
We know – that he knows – that all leadership action follows three words: “I accept responsibility”!
Richard Olivastro is president of Olivastro Communications; a professional member of the National Speakers Association; and, founder of Citizens For Change (www.CFC.us). He can be contacted at RichOlivastro@gmail.com or 877.RichSpeaks.