In a prime time address, on Monday July 25, 2011, President Obama demonstrated precisely why he is unfit to occupy the White House.
This is the address that a great president would have made to an increasingly worried public:
“My fellow Americans:
I come to engage in conversation with you this evening about the dangerous debt crisis that confronts our nation in order to reassure you that the debt ceiling will be raised and a down-grading of the U.S. debt will not occur. Let me explain the nature of this crisis.
The crisis reflects two realities. First, it is important for all of us to understand that the U.S. national debt has increased dramatically over the last three years – from 40 per cent of gross domestic product in 2008 to 72 per cent in 2011 and rising. This has occurred because of a fall in tax revenues during the recession coupled with a significant increase in government spending, partly brought about by automatic stabilizers but accentuated by three major stimulus packages. Unless this is addressed effectively, U.S. Treasurys will be downgraded whether or not the debt ceiling is increased. Second, U.S. Treasurys will be downgraded on August 2, 2011 if the debt ceiling is not increased, because that ceiling will be breached on that date as a consequence of daily spending exceeding daily revenues as an inevitable consequence of budgetary decisions that are currently effective.
From this perspective, simply increasing the debt ceiling cannot prevent a credit downgrade. For that will do nothing to correct the ongoing imbalance between revenues and spending. Now, in dealing with this issue, in a divided political arena, I must tell you that I have made two serious errors of judgment, for which I come to ask your forgiveness. First, I entered the debt debate far too late. I should have focused my State of the Union Address on this issue several months ago, when my Debt Commission reported clearly and effectively on the magnitude of the problem. Instead, I wasted that opportunity in presenting a broader progressive statement that largely went unheeded in the new more conservative domestic climate following the 2010 elections.
Second, I negotiated an essentially fair deal with Speaker John Boehner several days ago that had a genuine chance of legislative success. That deal called for some $4 trillion of spending cuts over ten years, including sensible structural reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, supplemented by a modest increase in revenues deemed unlikely to throw the U.S. economy back into a recession. With some presidential pressure placed on my fellow- Democrats in the Senate, I feel sure that this deal would have been successful. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to be trapped into a serious negotiating blunder. Knowing that ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not have the political weight to abort the deal, I should have avoided entering into post-deal discussions with her that resulted in my breaching the hand-shake deal with the Speaker and demanding some $400 billion of increased revenues over the ten year period. That request was a breach of trust on my part, and a deal-breaker for Speaker John Boehner.
So, tonight I acknowledge publicly why the fair deal that had been negotiated between myself and the Speaker broke down and I apologize to the Speaker for this error, which resulted from my limited experience in dealing at this highest level of political negotiation. I ask Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to join me at 6 am tomorrow morning in the Oval Office in order to reconstitute the elements of that fair deal. If we are successful, I intend to shake hands with both fine political leaders and great Americans on that deal before a full press gathering on the lawns of the White House.
God bless America
Barack Obama, the People’s President