Writing for Politico, Will Marshall argues that President Obama should counter the Republican’s proposal of balancing the federal budget in 10 years with an achievable goal of stopping the debt growth this year:
Republicans have retreated twice this month on the fiscal front, but they aren’t giving up. After having been forced to swallow higher tax rates and a debt ceiling increase, they’ve regrouped behind a new demand: balance the federal budget in 10 years.
That’s not going to happen, but no matter: The GOP is making an ideological statement. President Barack Obama should counter with a realistic fiscal goal, one Congress could actually achieve this year: Stop the debt from growing.
It’s finally dawned on Republicans that control of the House doesn’t entitle them to dictate the nation’s agenda. Still, they want to keep debt reduction front and center in Washington, because it’s a proxy for what conservatives regard as the nation’s overriding priority: shrinking the federal government.
But Obama won the election, and he has other ideas. One of them is not letting the right hold America’s economy hostage to demands for brutally deep cuts in public spending. The public backs the president, as evidenced by polls showing Americans believe GOP rigidity is the chief obstacle to a fiscal compromise.