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posted: 8/21/2012 4:40 AM

A manager is not the answer

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There is a notion out there that what this country really needs as President of the United States is a manager and not a politician. It isn't so.

A manager does not have to negotiate policy through a dysfunctional Congress. But a president does. If a manager encounters reluctance in the ranks, the manager fires enough of the ranks so that it is clear that orders from the top are to be followed. Presidents cannot do this.

President Obama took office and was immediately confronted by Mitch McConnell's assertion that the Republicans' primary goal for 2008-2012 was to do everything possible to assure that President Obama would be a one-term president. In practice, this has meant an all-out effort to prevent Obama from advancing any policy, even where policy was originated by Republicans.

Obstruction, usually a tactic, became the primary Republican policy.

The most important issue now facing the country is how to reduce the existing debt and set the budget on a path that does not include unnecessary deficit spending. This will take both reduced spending and additional tax revenues. It will require bleeding out of the current tax laws subsidies and tax breaks that owe their existence to political expedience. It will take across-the-board compromise.

This is not a management problem. It is a political problem.

Alfred Y. Kirkland Jr.


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