He compared the problem to a captain facing problems at sea. “There’s a big hole in the ship. It only keeps growing and growing. There’s no effort to repair it “
I asked Woodward if our political leaders would truly recognize the seriousness of the issue one day and make the tough choices our nation needs. He said that nothing happens in one day. “Things in government happen when there’s a crisis,” he said, “[and] we’re gonna run into a crisis because there just isn’t gonna be enough money…”
Politics, Woodward argues, have hampered our nation’s ability to reach a deal to solve this crisis. He added that “political calculations” drove us to where we are now and fixing those issues is going to be “painful.” “Reforming the tax system which both President Obama and Speaker Boehner [and] Republicans and Democrats agree has to be done is really hard.” But, he added, “Reagan did it with Democrats in 1986. It’s possible.”
At a lecture after the interview, Woodward noted that both the Democrats and the Republicans share responsibility for their inability to get our deficit under control. However, when an audience member asked who was more responsible, Woodward noted that “the leader of this country is the president.”
“Presidents have to lead and presidents have to know how,” he said before walking off the stage.