The President told Republicans and everyone else that his priority begins with growing the economy and then balancing the budget. The rationale for that is if you have a healthy economy the nation is producing revenue needed to operate and to pay down debt.
If the nation tries to pay down the debt too much and too soon, it will wreck the economy and undermine growth. Therefore, finding the midpoint between economic growth and paying down debt is what the opposing forces are seeking.
If you believe that the primary job of the President and government is to optimize return on national resources, then the President’s position is correct. If you believe that government is intended to produce an ideal environment in which private enterprise may flourish, then the President and opposition must describe what they mean by that.
We are hearing today that business leaders want less costly regulations and regulations that produce a desired outcome with efficiency. That is a fair requirement.
We hear from conservative Republicans that capitalists (wealthy persons) need a break from higher taxation so that they have sufficient incentive to invest and grow the economy. The trouble is that all of the data points to the fact that they have wealth and incentive and are too idle. They resting on their assets.
Furthermore, there are systemic problems with capitalism as we know it as it is unsustainable.
Therefore, the President needs to move forward with his priority to meet with business and industry leaders to define and describe the attributes of the ideal business environment for today. He needs to lead and facilitate discussions that produce a strategy that excites economic growth by renewing America around a new energy paradigm and around a sustainable economic model that must be defined and described.
Legislators need to compromise on a balanced way ahead without further exacerbating economic growth. Voters need to staff government with more qualified, creative, and able representatives to move off the dime.
“Obama to GOP: My priority is economy, not balanced budget
By Molly K. Hooper - 03/13/13 02:28 PM ET
President Obama said his priority is to prevent an economic slowdown — not to produce a 10-year balanced budget — during a closed-door meeting Wednesday with House Republicans.
Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) asked Obama about the budget, questioning whether he would “commit to a 10-year balanced budget” according to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).
“The president tactfully said ‘That's not my priority, my priority is not slowing the recovery down and the long-term economic health of the country,’ " Rogers said.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday offered a 10-year budget for House Republicans that would reduce spending by $5.7 trillion and balance the budget in 10 years. Republicans have criticized the White House for not yet releasing a budget this year.
About the only news that Obama brought to House Republicans, multiple lawmakers said, was the announcement that there was a new pope.
While billions outside the closed-door meeting learned through television about the historic selection, House Republicans learned from the president.
"We have white smoke," Obama told them more than halfway through the meeting, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said.
Lawmakers applauded, and then Rep. Billy Long (R-Miss.) drew laughs when he yelled out, "Does that mean that you're going to open up the White House for tours?"
Obama earned a standing ovation from Republicans when he entered the meeting, the second of four sessions the president is having on Capitol Hill with House and Senate Republicans and Democrats.
House GOP lawmakers have greeted the president with a standing ovation every time they’ve met with a president, Rogers said. “I don't care which president, we respect the office," he said.
Obama was expected to address his congressional agenda with Republicans, including an effort to reach a “grand bargain” deficit reduction deal. It's the first time Obama has met with the full House GOP conference in nearly two years.
One lawmaker said Obama was also asked about a pending decision by the administration on whether to give approval for construction of a pipeline that would transport oil from Alberta's tar sands to the Gulf Coast.
Obama "indicated" that there would be a decision on the Keystone pipeline soon, according to Rep. John Carter (R-Texas).
Leaving the meeting, a smiling Obama spoke briefly of the Vatican's election of a pope, saying "we look forward to hearing about it."
Of the meeting, Obama was terse. "It was good. I enjoyed it," he said. "It was useful."