By Robert Schlesinger |
Compromise and negotiation are foreign words to the White House. Throughout his tenure as president, Barack Obama has consistently shown that he is far more interested in campaigning than he is in actually governing this country. Sadly, the president's personal goals have come before the well-being of the American people, and his policies of more spending, higher taxes, and bigger government have only been amplified so far in his second term.
Since winning re-election, the president has squandered two major opportunities to work with Republicans on finding a genuine approach to putting Americans back to work and cutting spending in Washington. The first scenario played out during the so-called "fiscal cliff" debate. Rather than coming to the table with an authentic solution for harnessing Washington's spending, President Obama instead launched a nationwide campaign tour to promote raising taxes and encourage class warfare. The second missed opportunity happened just last week, when the president chose to let the sequester take effect. House Republicans offered multiple alternatives to protect our military while still cutting spending. The president scoffed at any suggestions that didn't include higher taxes—which he needs in order to implement the remainder of his liberal agenda of increasing spending to fund a bigger government.
Going forward, the president has set his sights on a different tactic for getting what he wants. He's forgoing all negotiations with House Republicans, and instead attempting to eliminate their majority altogether. This is evident not only through his unwillingness to compromise, but also through his commitment to campaigning against House Republicans—legislatively and politically. This year alone, President Obama has committed to eight fundraisers for the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, compared to just two in 2009. His plan is to return Nancy Pelosi to the speaker's chair so that for the remainder of his presidency, he has free rein to propose and pass controversial bills regarding issues like gun control, immigration reform, and climate change without any significant Republican opposition. Given our country's unprecedented fiscal and economic hardship, this is not the kind of leadership that the American people want from our commander in chief.
I'm hearing a resounding message from my constituents, and it's this: Americans are tired of political division. They're ready for accountability and responsibility in Washington. No more last minute, short term deals. No more manufactured 11th hour crises. The American people want President Obama and Washington Democrats to ditch the campaign trail, reach across the aisle, and tackle our greatest national enemies; unsustainable debt and out-of-control spending.
About Paul Broun U.S. Representative for Georgia
Phillip Swagel Former assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department.
Brandon Rottinghaus Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston
Thomas Mann Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution