Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CBO Paints a Bleak Picture

The Congressional Budget Office has painted a bleak picture of the two alternative views of the nation's debt crisis. They have presented a summary that is only 4 pages and incorporates a graph of their two alternative scenarios. You can find it here:

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/122xx/doc12212/2011_06_22_summary.pdf

Neither scenario is very good. One seems not plausible and the other is kind of scary. I think the middle ground on the chart is more likely. This middle ground would be awful nevertheless. The point is that "Houston, we have a problem." Which reminds me of the kind of teamwork and leadership we need right now. The Apollo 13 crew was faced with an impossible task of returning to earth after an oxygen tank exploded causing limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water and the danger of too much carbon monoxide taking over the spacecraft. They did not waste time blaming the engineers for the oxygen tank explosion. They all got together and worked to find a solution to the problems they faced.

Right now, all I see out of Washington is a blame game. The President continues along with the blame game. The Democrats are blaming the Tea Party. The Republicans are blaming the President and the Democratic controlled Senate. The House Republicans have tried to do something by passing legislation, but Harry Reid has blocked the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan.

Imagine if Jim Lowell, the Captain of Apollo 13 would have spent all of his precious time blaming the engineers, instead of working with them to try and solve the problem. He probably would be still floating out there in space somewhere if he played the blame game. Instead, the great American that he is, he worked with his crew and the engineers and everyone else in Houston to solve the problem. I had the pleasure of hearing Captain Lowell tell his story in person and it was truly amazing. His leadership was very evident.

There comes a time when the politics have to go. We need cooler heads to prevail along with some leadership. I have a saying that I have told my son often. "Always positive. Never negative." When you feel compelled to be negative. Look for the positive.

Right now, this is what we need from the President and Congress. Everything that comes out of their mouths needs to be positive. Nothing negative.