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Obama Holding the U.S. Hostage: Opinion

That would require longer-term reforms, but Obama has refused to look at skyrocketing spending with a critical eye. He talks about balanced approaches to deficit reduction -- half spending and half taxes. However, instead of matching increases in payroll and income taxes imposed Jan. 1 with spending cuts, he pushed through more spending on unemployment insurance and other initiatives.

Now Obama is unwilling to manage effectively $85 billion in cuts across a $3.8 trillion government. Remember, administrative, research and public affairs outlays associated with entitlements are fair game, too. What about the White House budget?

Instead, he would rather blackmail Americans with food shortages, long lines at airports and the like, and invoke the specter of another recession to gain political advantage over the Republicans.

Whether a second recession occurs is already baked in the cake. Obama's high taxes, and those imposed by Democratic governors from Maryland to California, have forced consumers to trim purchases, retailers and wholesalers are reporting weaker traffic and are trimming inventories, and corporate leaders have announced plans to cut new investments and hiring owing to weak demand and more burdensome health-care costs and regulations.

When you can't get hamburger at the supermarket and unemployment rises this spring, Obama will do what he does best, cast blame on Republicans for permitting sequestration, but it is the American people that bear the burden of presidential disregard for the responsibilities of his office and the harmful effects of his policies.

Perhaps, Obama should read less Lincoln and behave more like Truman, the man from Missouri for whom "the buck stops here."



This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.
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