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Posted at 03:46 PM ET, 05/23/2012

Eskew and Scarborough’s good idea for Obama

I agree with a lot of what Carter said this afternoon. Joe Scarborough is particularly thoughtful, and his show provides a useful forum for reasonable discourse and rational ideas. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Joe is an alumni of the University of Alabama and a distinguished fan of the Crimson Tide. 

Anyway, for Obama to pick up the Simpson-Bowles plan now would be awkward, and he would be a little late to the game, but it would be better than the vacuum that currently exists among the Democrats.  I don’t agree with much of what the Simpson-Bowles commission recommended, but at least it starts from an honest place.

Obama urgently needs to recapture some credibility on the budget and the deficit. He and the Democrats don’t have a plan or a budget at all.  They ridicule the Ryan budget, but at least that’s a sincere effort by the Republicans to solve our nation’s problems and to move the debate forward.

Voters would be better served if our political debate began to include real options and honest analysis of our problems from both sides. With Obama’s budget receiving zero votes in Congress, and the administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate conspiring to not pass a budget in more than three years, it’s clear to voters who is serious and who isn’t. The Simpson-Bowles plan has a good pedigree and was widely accepted as credible, even if people disagreed with either the revenue provisions or the spending levels.

Having no plan is politically unsustainable for President Obama, especially in light of a new CBO report that defines the calamity that taking no action would produce in 2013.  The CBO projects that the economy would contract at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the first half of the year under current conditions, which would probably cause a recession.  Frankly, Obama needs to have more clarity on budget issues than Romney does.  The incumbency comes with the responsibility.  If nothing else, Obama could use Simpson-Bowles as a shield to fight off the legitimate attack that he has no plan at all. 

By  |  03:46 PM ET, 05/23/2012

 
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