It's the right thing to do - both in terms of policy and politics. Clive concurs. Charlie Cook drafts the speech the president needs to make:

It is thinking as liberals and Democrats, as conservatives and Republicans, that got us into this mess­each group protecting programs and spending that no longer work or that we simply can’t afford anymore, tax deductions and credits that no longer effectively serve their purpose or cost more than they are worth.  

This is bitter medicine that no one likes. But it is medicine that will lead to curing a horrible fiscal disease that is eating away at our country and that threatens our future. There is plenty of pain for everyone in these recommendations, but the promise of a better future for our country is worth us all making sacrifices.

I know that embracing these recommendations might cost me reelection in two years. But if I don’t push them, I am not worthy of the job or of the trust that you placed in me two years ago. I’d like to think that good policy makes good politics, but even if it doesn’t, even if it costs me my career, I am ready to pay that price.

I’d rather do the right thing and be a one-term president than shirk my responsibility and serve two terms. I’m a relatively young man and presumably will have to live a long life knowing that I had a chance but didn’t do what I knew would help the country most. I ask each of you to look at the numbers, look at the facts, and think about the crushing debt that we are leaving our children and grandchildren. Think about the national interest. Think about the sacrifices that previous generations have been asked to make and made.

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