For his potential second term to be seen as something new, something offering a fresh start, something that can break through the partisan deadlock and get to real solutions to problems that can no longer be kicked down the road, then he has to do something bold.
Get up there and say: if a version of the Bowles-Simpson proposal comes to my desk that stays within its rough parameters and saves as much money, then I will sign it. I didn't before because the Congress killed it before it came to my desk, my own party was skittish on Medicare and entitlements, the Pentagon was panicking about the cuts, and Paul Ryan made sure that the GOP would not cooperate. Well, this time we have a chance to defeat Paul Ryan and get to advance Tom Coburn and other deficit-serious Republicans who will agree to the Grand Bargain we need. That will give us enough credibility with the bond markets to push through a second stimulus. In other words: a little fiscal push now, serious, shared sacrifice for the future. This is the most logical and potentially powerful way forward - for the US and the world.
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