But that is clearly untrue, and a president fulfilling his fiduciary duty to the nation would say so in unambiguous terms. What is true is that if we don't radically reduce our overall spending and structurally reform our entitlement programs at some point in the near future, we will be unable to honor our obligations. But it is the exploding national debt that is the enemy, not the debt ceiling, without which there's no telling how much worse off we'd already be.
Obama should have immediately assured Moody's and the rest of the world that no matter what happens in these negotiations, the United States will honor its debts. But just as he does with seniors, he prefers to ruthlessly leverage international fear as a negotiating weapon in his mission to remake America.
I repeat: It is past time that Republicans take the gloves off and man their offensive battle stations. Obama's constant assumption of the offense and the Republicans' deferential defensive positioning create the illusion that Obama has more power than Congress and that he is not mainly culpable in the events giving rise to this impasse.
Whether or not he accepts this reality, Obama owns this economy and the alarming explosion of the debt in recent years. He is the one whose reckless policies have greatly exacerbated our dire financial condition. He is the one whose unconscionably wasteful and irresponsible economic policies have tanked the economy and suppressed employment. He is the one who, along with his party, has not presented a budget in 800 days. He is the one who formed a bipartisan deficit commission and then ignored its findings. He is the one who hasn't presented a concrete budgetary plan. He is the one who refuses to reform entitlements despite objective evidence that if we don't, the nation will go belly up. Yet he is the one who is pointing all the fingers of blame against the Republicans as if they were the culprits.
Republicans, choose your spokesman (Rep. Paul Ryan would be a good choice), and call daily pressers to make your case instead of always ceding that turf to Obama. In charge of the purse, you have every bit as much right to speak out on fiscal matters as does Obama. Then begin passing your reform bills over and over again, forcing the Democratic Senate and Obama to reject them. It's time that the president and party who are "creating the mess" were put back on their heels and exposed for their wanton fiscal destruction.