This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.
The battle over President Barack Obama's budget for 2010 and beyond is shaping up as an epic contest for control of the country's future. Given the ambitious scale of the president's $3.6 trillion plan for 2010 and the huge deficits projected over the next decade, even some Democrats in Congress blanched when they saw the numbers – as well they should have. This is a time, however, to confront the nation's problems, not run away from them yet again.
A budget resolution is a blueprint for the future, a commitment to make a commitment, and Mr. Obama offers good remedies for America's economic ills. Educational reform, a top-to-bottom overhaul of healthcare and an energy plan that promises long-delayed solutions – these issues have been near the top of the nation's to-do list for decades.
Progress has been stymied by a lack of political will and faint-hearted leadership. As a candidate, Mr. Obama made no bones about his intentions. He would not be the leader voters expected if he turned his back on campaign promises in the face of daunting challenges.
The first, and most serious, involves deficits. The fiscal 2010 budget projects a $1.17-trillion deficit, following an estimated $1.75-trillion deficit for 2009. These are huge numbers, but largely the result of an inherited financial mess and a lack of regulatory control. Deficit reduction is a must.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama criticized House Republicans for offering criticisms instead of solutions. As if on cue, they then released a response that the Associated Press described as ''short on detail and long on campaign-style talking points,'' a vague pamphlet that offers unspecified cuts in spending and lower taxes.
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