Thinking big; thinking small

Mike Simpson is thinking big.
 
Barack Obama is thinking small.
 
Simpson, an Idaho Republican, recently spearheaded a bipartisan letter in the House urging negotiators to go big when dealing with the financial cliff. Mike is no Johnny-come-lately in his thoughts. He urged the same thing of the so-called supercommittee last year, and his efforts landed him a primary opponent.
 
Obama’s sum total in asks in the negotiations has been to urge an increase in rates for the top 2 percent of taxpayers. That’s it. It’s small politics, soaked in class warfare-ism. It won’t do anything to cure our deficit problems, let alone our debt problems.
 

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Simpson, by thinking big, has courageously rounded up Democrats and Republicans to find common ground. He has put proposals to paper, he has done press conferences, he has penned op-eds, all of which put everything on the table. He has gone far outside the comfort zone of most members of the House, who are sheltered in gerrymandered districts and worry far more about primary challenges than they do general-election matchups.
 
Obama has launched a campaign effort that has fallen flat, to say the least. He has not done anything to test his own boundaries, sticking to the same rhetoric he has used for the last four years. And, unbelievably, he has targeted Mike Simpson in his campaign to go small.
 
In fact, Obama’s campaign effort has yielded about 20 calls a day in Simpson’s office, mostly from folks out of state. The calls are unconvincing, and have not deterred the Idaho congressman from his pursuit of something big.
 
We have big problems in this country. Economic uncertainty bedevils us in the short term, but fiscal irresponsibility will doom us in the long term.
 
There is only one way to end the uncertainty and the irresponsibility.
 
And that is the Mike Simpson way.
 
Negotiators should go big and the president should stop being so small.