Looking for compromise
Akron Beacon Journal: What if President Obama had proposed a federal budget plan in tune with his deficit commission, aggressive, bold, taking aim at defense and entitlement spending, reshaping the tax code, generating savings of $4 trillion during the next decade? The criticism still would be ringing loudly. Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill would declare their firm opposition to various elements. The opportunity for the necessary compromise would be all but gone.
So, yes, the president put forward a political document, ‘’a framework for a conversation,” as he explained at his (Feb. 15) press conference. A serious bid to restore fiscal order must include reduced spending on health care and higher taxes. It must involve both political parties. With that in mind, any congressional intern understands the current prospects for such a bipartisan discussion are bleak.
To its credit, the Obama White House seeks just such a responsible balance. It matters significantly that the president’s plan would hold the national debt in check as a percentage of the overall economy.
Here is a careful bid to begin the process of putting the country’s financial house in order, alert to the condition of the economy and the tone of the partisan debate. The object in all of this discussion is setting the deficit on a downward path.