- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Good leaders always accept responsibility for events that take place on their watch, whether the results are good or bad. President Obama, however, has found a way to distance himself from this responsibility.

The deficit-reduction supercommittee was put into place after Mr. Obama backed away from his commitment to a plan that Speaker of the House John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had agreed upon to resolve this issue. In doing so, 12 members of Congress were put into a position of guaranteed failure.

Mr. Obama did not provide the appropriate leadership to have the Democratic and Republican leadership agree on a compromise. His energy level has only increased on his pet legislation (i.e., the health care bill and his alternate energy policies) and he has begun to focus on his re-election campaign almost to the exclusion of all other important matters.

All 535 members of Congress were elected to draft, debate and pass legislation. That is their job and they need to focus now to resolve the ever-growing deficit. When there are impasses, the president should be involved; but Mr. Obama always finds a reason not to engage.

On a more practical basis, a working committee could have been formed to make recommendations that would have preserved adequate funding for our most important priorities - the military that protects our country and a reasonable approach to entitlement reform that would have alleviated the concerns for those who needed the benefits. Congress needs to seriously debate this issue. With an involved president, such a debate could yield results.

MARVIN L. HOOVIS

Centerville, Mass.

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