Why Our Country Has a Leadership Deficit

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Published December 06, 2010

| FoxNews.com

How is it possible for America to tackle its massive and historic debt and economic challenges, if we do not first solve our deficit in national leadership?

President Obama and Democrats have failed to lead with regard to our massive economic problems. Instead of instituting policies and programs to get people back to work and working to restore confidence and assurance to consumers and businesses the administration and Democrats in the House and Senate did not create jobs, extend the expiring Bush tax cuts, deal with high capitol gains, estate taxes, or payroll taxes.

Just this past week, our economy got some more bad news. The national unemployment rate currently stands at 9.8 percent -- Today more than 15 million Americans are out of work.

Instead of concentrating on creating jobs and fostering an atmosphere of confidence and surety in our economy, Democrats are calling for yet another extension of unemployment benefits. 

Many leading economists agree that had Obama last year re-upped the Bush tax cuts, created at least a 8 month payroll tax holiday, eliminated or reduced capital gains and estate taxes there would have been no need to extend unemployment benefits since many moreAmericans would be working.

Republicans believe that the way to get people back to work is by incentivising the private sector not penalizing them and paying citizens to be idle and unproductive.

Democrats promised that if the $800+ billion stimulus bill were passed and unemployment insurance was extended that those efforts would prevent the national unemployment rate from rising above 8 percent. By their own criteria, their "solutions" were utter and complete failures.

Now, Democrats will be forced to accept the very solutions Republicans were calling for since shortly after Obama took office. The road to economic recovery is job creation, tax relief for all Americans, drastically reduced government spending and deficit reduction, restoring confidence in our future and respect for our leaders.

Americans will accept sacrifice for the greater good, if they believe in and respect their leaders. They also have to believe that the sacrifices they are being asked to make are fair, equitable and necessary.

Since taking office this president has been "hands-off." He refuses to lead. He passes the buck and blames others for our problems. This is ironic since as a candidate, he had all the answers for all that ailed us. Sadly, as president he seems to have no answers.

The best example of his lack of presidential leadership was his appointment of his Deficit Reduction Commission. The Commission's findings are non-binding and in order to make a Commission finding they needed 14 out of 18 votes of its Commission membership. This "super majority requirement doomed his Commission from its inception. 

The Commission was empanelled in February of 2010 and was unable to come to a consensus last week at the conclusion of their deliberations. Why was the president and why were Democrats in the majority of the House and Senate not engaged? Why was this not a top priority?

Had the president and Democrats been serious about deficit reduction and national economic responsibility they would have worked in a bipartisan, transparent way within our Constitutional framework to get results. 

It is up to the president and Congress to solve our problems. It is not the obligation of presidential commissions that are not responsible to the people.

Americans are tired in inaction, incompetence and avoidance of responsibility and accountability. Elected officials are expected to do work themselves to solve problems; they are not put in positions of power to shirk responsibility or avoid it all together.

The "buck stops" with the president and should not be passed by him.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion.

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http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/12/06/country-leadership-deficit/