Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Voting Present - As Usual

President Obama doesn't lead. There, I said it. I don't know if he can't lead or won't lead, he just doesn't. He threw health care reform over the fence to Nancy and Harry and look at the execrable result. It goes back to his days as state senator where the record showed that he liked to vote present, like 130 times. The latest case in point is his budget. After getting pilloried by both left and right alike for its failure to make any significant progress against the debt, Obama held an "emergency" press conference this morning.

President Barack Obama defended his budget proposal Tuesday against criticism that it was too timid, as a bipartisan group of senators moved on their own to address the long-term spending issues the White House budget ducked.

Mr. Obama said he was confident the political parties would come together to find a bipartisan way to rein in the growth of Social Security and Medicare, and to overhaul the tax code.

But speaking at a news conference, he offered no details about what measures he could support, or about how talks between Republicans and Democrats might come about. He said he expected these matters to be addressed in the coming months.

That's right, he had zip, nada, zilch to say about what he would even support, much less what he would push for.

From Stephen Moore:

The overarching problem for Team Obama is that the budget contains trivial cost savings. In the first two years the deficit is actually worsened. Democratic deficit hawks are upset about the total absence of savings in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Mr. Obama explained his whiff on entitlement reform by saying it should "be a negotiation process" and that Republicans and Democrats need to get "in that boat at the same time so we don't tip over." It was hardly Harry Truman saying "the buck stops here."

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