Should the President go to Burma and the East Asia Summit next week or stay home and handle the fiscal cliff / sequestration crisis?

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Next week, per the White House, President Obama will travel to Burma to meet with Prime Minister Yingluck and also then to Cambodia to attend the East Asia Summit.  Is that really the best use of his time and now?   I know that part of the world is very important to us and the President can have great influence there….but can he afford to go now?  

Should he not instead stay home, engage Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid in aggressive conversations at the White House,  and work out the fiscal cliff problem?  To resolve the fiscal cliff requires ‘all hands on deck’ and the deadline is rapidly approaching.   

At this point, it is a question of priorities.  What is the more urgent matter for the American people?  I think the fiscal cliff.  The President can  send Secretary Clinton to the Summit — he sent her as a stand in to meet with PM Netanyahu when he was in NYC for the UN in September as well as to meet with the President of Yemen when he was here.  Those were very important meetings for the United States and Israel (and Yemen) and he thought the Secretary was up to the job to do those…so, why not the Summit?

If our nation goes off the fiscal cliff, according to every economist, the nation could go into a significant economic crisis.  Ignoring the fiscal crisis and hoping it resolves while he is ‘on the road’ is not a solution.  Trying to bandaid together a ‘kick the can’ 3 – 6 month postponement is not handling the problem because temporary solutions (which is what that would be) are not strong messages to the business community (i.e. jobs.)  The business community needs strong leadership and strong indication of where the economy (and their taxes) are going. We need all three – House, Senate and the White House in Washington and working on it. 

This fiscal cliff crisis has been looming for ONE YEAR (according to Bob Woodward, it was the Obama Administration’s idea) and the President (and the House and the Senate) have now allowed us to push up to a crisis deadline.   This is not a surprise.   It is wrong.   Americans deserve our leaders to do their jobs.   This is a dropped ball — and one with serious consequences for everyone (especially the unemployed and the middle class who hope to stay employed.)  

Time is running out….and Americans have waited long enough…more than a year.

What do you think?  Am I wrong? 

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