How can our nation address our most serious fiscal issues, when the President of the United States doesn't believe that the most critical of them all even exists??!
What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.' "
The president's insistence that Washington doesn't have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called "a health-care problem." Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—"They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system"—he replied: "Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is
about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem." He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that."
Mr. Boehner says that the only way to build long-term economic growth is to reduce the nation's debt through entitlement and tax reform. But can such a deal be achieved with a president who doesn't even think that Washington has a spending problem? "He believes in the power of government," Mr. Boehner answers. "I believe in the power of the American people. It is really that simple." And
really that difficult.