"These figures highlight a massive failure of leadership from both Republicans and Democrats among the nation's political elite. Given the amount of political chatter about the budget in recent years, it is almost beyond comprehension that neither party has seen fit to highlight the basics so that the American people can make reasoned choices on the fundamental issues before them," - Scott Rasmussen.

He's absolutely right. The fundamental question in this country right now is how to get our fiscal house in order. When Democrats and Republicans refuse to be honest about the real choices in front of us, when they fail to educate the American people about the brutal reality ahead, they are guilty of professional negligence.

If Republicans want to balance the budget by spending cuts alone, then they have a clear responsibility to say what they intend to cut in Medicare, defense, and social security, and how. If Democrats want to balance the budget by tax hikes alone, then they need to walk the walk as well, and tell us which taxes and how much. My view is that the obvious - obvious - sensible solution is to do a bit of both and argue reasonably about the balance. But we need to do so now.

And in my view, it is the job of the president to insist on this. He's the leader. He should give a speech directly explaining to the people what our choices are. He should become Perot. He should make his case for a mix that tends toward tax hikes and protecting entitlements. And then engage the GOP on the specifics.

That truly would be "Goodbye To All That." That truly would be leadership.

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