An interesting exchange took place between Joe Scarborough and Bob Woodward this morning on Morning Joe, in which Scarborough wondered aloud why Barack Obama would insist that changes were needed to rescue Social Security and Medicare in order to save them, but then turn around and offer no solutions. Bob Woodward simply quoted the title of his book — The Price of Politics — and told Scarborough that the White House made a purely political calculation that offering no solutions would work better for them in the election. The only real leadership on this issue has been provided by Paul Ryan, Woodward tells Scarborough, even though he’s not a fan of Ryan’s approach:
Woodward makes one other key point. The only solution Obama has offered is the so-called Buffett Rule, hiking taxes on the highest earners to get them to pay their “fair share,” even though that bracket already provides an outsized percentage of federal income tax revenue as it is. Woodward likes that plan, but scoffs at the notion that it will fix the massive holes in the entitlement liabilities over the next few decades. Obama simply won’t provide any leadership in what will be a defining fiscal crisis for this nation, even when the solution gets handed to him by his own commission, called into being specifically to provide him a platform to display that kind of leadership.