Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hope Springs Eternal ... Obama and Ryan to Talk ... and Eat

Maybe we're finally getting some grown-up behavior from our government knows best gang in Wshington. At least it's starting to look that way to me.

Last night President reached out to Republicans at a 'neutral site' dinner in Washington.

Today he's hosting Paul Ryan for lunch at the White House.

Yes, hope springs eternal.

This is not the type of behavior we're accustomed to seeing from our President, but it's certainly refreshing and a sign of real hope that maybe the people's business will finally receive some much overdue attention from our 'aristocrats.' Let's hope so.

The problems we have can be solved if the will is there to do so. All we need are a few responsible adults deciding what to do about our nation's debt, deficits, growth, employment, size of government, tax policies, energy policies and how to enable the private sector to get us out of this mess over time.

The Keynesian 'progressive' Democrats have been using the wrong financial and government as savior formula for years, and my guess is that finally they are realizing that simple fact, even if they will never acknowledge same. And as for the Republicans, they need to stop acting as if they don't care about the poor, the immigrants and the old among us. Because they do, as do we all.

And for those who have enough money to take care of ourselves, especially the fortunate oldsters among us, we need to stop taking entitlements, including Social Security and Medicare. Let's use those programs to help those who need help and not give everybody money that we don't have to give. Besides, it's money that the younger workers can better use but are now having to provide to the financially fortunate oldsters. Means testing is an idea whose time has come.

And while we're at it, let's start dealing with our nation's many educational issues, especially in the major cities. We spend too much and our young people learn too little. And lest we forget, it's time to tackle the cost of college and the problem with student loans, too.

Finally, it's time to agree that government can't solve our problems, no matter how big it gets or how much money it spends. It's up to We the People to do that, and We the People are up to the challenge. Our predecessors always were, and now it's our turn. So let's get started.

Paul Ryan Is Latest Republican to Meet With Obama has the story on today's Obama and Ryan confab:

"President Barack Obama's outreach to congressional Republicans continues today, as he lunches at the White House with Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the leading budget-writer in the House.

Rep. Paul Ryan planned to meet the president for lunch at the White House Thursday.

It's the latest sign that Mr. Obama is trying to reignite conversations with the GOP aimed at producing a "grand bargain'' on deficit-cutting, entitlement spending and taxes. Debate over those issues has produced near-gridlock and a series of deadline-driven budget crises in Washington, which now threaten to divert attention from Mr. Obama's second term goals of passing an immigration overhaul and expanding early-childhood education, among other things.

Joining Messrs. Obama and Ryan will be Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, a White House official said Thursday. Mr. Ryan is chairman of that committee.

Mr. Ryan would be an important figure in any "grand bargain'' talks. He is the architect of the House Republican plan to rein in federal spending and reshape the Medicare program, making him a leading representative of the most fiscally conservative lawmakers. Next week, he will release the House GOP's version of a budget for the next fiscal year. . . .

Mr. Obama's flurry of overtures to congressional Republicans has become apparent in recent days, as he began calling GOP senators over the weekend, focusing on lawmakers who were not part of the Senate leadership. Last night, Mr. Obama dined with a dozen Senate Republicans at a Washington, D.C., restaurant, where the conversation focused on issues such as taxes and spending, participants said.

The president's aim is to reach beyond the congressional Republican leadership and build a coalition that will pass a sweeping budget deal that cuts the deficit, raises tax revenue, revises the tax code and shores up Social Security and Medicare, according to White House officials and people familiar with the discussions."

Summing Up

Maybe, just maybe, we're getting somewhere.

And if so, it's about time.

But even if we're not going to get where we need to go anytime soon, at least we're headed in the right direction.

We the People want our politicians to go to work on our behalf, and it looks like they are starting to do just that.

There will be lots of bumps and bruises along the road to our nation's full recovery, of course, but that's ok. Effort precedes results.

Our kids and grandkids deserve an all-out effort from us, and we deserve the same from the political class that so self righteously purports to serve us.

Stay tuned.

Thanks. Bob.

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