The Debt Ceiling Debate Is Not a Political Football

Analysis: When leaders refuse to leave the stage

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When we look around our culture, we can easily see how the political right have played the blame game against President Obama. And the president is not blameless. He has not only run roughshod over congress, but most notably, he has played the blame game against the American people.

In a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, President Obama had an approval rating of just 36 percent. This number had been sitting at the bottom since May and it continued to plummet this month. And it is not because President Obama has not done anything to deserve the low approval rating. Rather, in many respects, President Obama has done his utmost to turn the entire thing into a political football and not a legitimate political dialogue.

The president has said he won’t negotiate, but hasn’t done anything to force negotiations to begin. He has shown no flexibility in the face of Republicans demands regarding the debt ceiling. And he is still using the same “it’s-not-a-budget” negotiating strategy that he used before the debt ceiling was raised, instead of seeking out compromise.

Of course, it’s not just President Obama who is taking the blame for the debt ceiling crisis. It is also Congress and the administration who is responsible for the failure to address the debt ceiling crisis, the very reason the country is in this predicament. So while we want to blame someone, we want to blame everyone for the crisis, but we should not.

This is not merely a political crisis, but also one that is about the future of the country. As the president said when he signed the bill last week, it is our responsibility to fix the problem. The reality is that, right now, we are not ready to do that.

As the economy continues its slow progress downward, and the debt ceiling debate continues, it is only a matter of time before a financial crisis spirals out of control. And when that happens, we will have learned the same lesson that we did after the recession of 2001, when the economy began to stumble, and we did not have a strategy in place to ensure that another recession did not happen. What we saw then was an economic crisis that was created by a series of irresponsible actions by the Bush administration, and our response was to create a new recession with new government spending.

We did not build a long-term strategy to deal

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