Terry Paulson

Oprah: You had to be aware of the nonpartisan Congressional Accountability Office (CAO) reports that warned “…absent policy changes…the federal government continues to face an unsustainable fiscal path.” You continued to say you were for "balancing the budget," but spending and the deficit went up every year. You blamed Republicans for demanding "spending cuts" that were truly only decreases in budget increases. You had to know this spending was unsustainable. Were you lying?

Obama: I initially believed that a government stimulus was necessary. Once we acted, we had to sell the solution even when the economic numbers remained anemic. I couldn't admit I was wrong without unleashing more uncertainty.

Oprah: So you continued to lie about the depth of the problem we faced?

Obama: It wasn't a series of lies. It was one big spin repeated many times.

Oprah: You had to know that was wrong?

Obama: At the time? No. It's scary, isn't it? In Washington, lies are expected. We call it spin. Americans can't handle the truth. Or at least, that is how we governed. Bush outspent Clinton! I outspent Bush.

Oprah: You mean, it's not wrong because everyone does it?

Obama: I didn't invent the Potomac culture, but I didn't stop it either. It's just what is expected to get elected and stay in power. If you give people more goodies and have someone else pay, you're kept in office.

Oprah: Why the mea culpa now?

Obama: I don't know that I have a great answer for that. I realize that to many Americans, my admission comes too late to negate the damage done.

Oprah: Do you wish you could go back to start your second term again?

Obama: If only I could?

...Mr. President, don't wait for this interview! Honestly challenge Democrats and Republicans alike to make the tough choices to hold the line on spending, cut where you can, and spend where you must. Surprise us! Stop blaming and start leading. Let federal employees prove the old adage true that nothing inspires genius like a tight budget.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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