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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

THE QUESTION

Federal budget: Can we handle the truth?

Can Americans handle the painful truth about government budget deficits -- that getting them under control will require both tax increases and cuts in government services -- or will they reject any leader who dares to deliver it? What's a leader to do?

Posted by Steve Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti on February 1, 2010 2:10 PM
FROM THE PANEL
Col. Charles D. Allen

Flattery is betrayal

As public servants, we demean and betray our citizens if we do not provide them with the brutal facts and truths.

Posted by Col. Charles D. Allen, on February 4, 2010 6:23 AM
David Walker

End the spending binge

It's time to begin a process that will engage the American people with the hard facts, the plain truth and the tough choices relating to our nation's deficits.

Posted by David Walker, on February 3, 2010 4:11 PM
Kurt Schmoke

Financial manifesto

If you accept the premise that the public has lost confidence in government, then it complicates the ability of the country to handle the truth about the government budget deficits.

Posted by Kurt Schmoke, on February 3, 2010 12:48 PM
Michael Maccoby

The health care imperative

Neither the president nor congressional leaders have made a clear case to the American people for tax increases nor service decreases.

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on February 2, 2010 3:28 PM

Bitter medicine

Leadership is about mobilizing people to do the work they would rather not do.

Posted by Ed O'Malley, on February 2, 2010 3:28 PM
Donald Kettl

Bold truth, political suicide

What we need most now isn't just leadership. It's civility, so we can talk about the issues that matter.

Posted by Donald Kettl, on February 2, 2010 3:19 PM
Katherine Tyler Scott

Acting responsibly

There are those who think spending more money in the short term is a necessary evil; others think that cutting costs is our only option.

Posted by Katherine Tyler Scott, on February 2, 2010 3:09 PM
Daisy Wademan Dowling

Getting what we demand

While Americans can handle the painful truth about tax increases and budget cuts, we don't demand it.

Posted by Daisy Wademan Dowling, on February 2, 2010 2:41 PM
Coro Fellows

California's cautionary tale

For a gripping lesson in budget management, look no further than the celebrities in the California state legislature.

Posted by Coro Fellows, on February 2, 2010 2:19 PM
Yash Gupta

Something-for-nothing culture

Americans have a proud history of sacrifice in times of hardship. I believe we can do it again if President Obama can inspire us to do so.

Posted by Yash Gupta, on February 2, 2010 2:13 PM

Feeding the ignorance

Most Americans cannot even conceptualize the idea that we need to have both higher taxes AND fewer services.

Posted by Howard Gardner, on February 2, 2010 5:50 AM
Slade Gorton

Wiser heads

Americans who care about their nation have less difficulty facing tough choices than do their representatives in Congress.

Posted by Slade Gorton, on February 2, 2010 5:46 AM

Handling the ugly truth

The real question is whether or not our elected officials have the backbone to lead.

Posted by Gen. John Batiste (Ret.), on February 1, 2010 3:44 PM
Don Vandergriff

Cheerleading syndrome

The cheerleading effect happens when the only acceptable message is a positive one. Everyone wants the party to go on, even after they have forgotten what the celebration was for.

Posted by Don Vandergriff, on February 1, 2010 2:39 PM

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FEATURED COMMENTS

Aprogressiveindependent: Bringing budget deficits under some semblance of reasonable control and providing universal health care for everyone legally in this country...

jpenergy: Shortly before he was fired, [Treasury Secretary Paul O'neill] confronted Cheney about the Administration's latest proposal to cut taxes by ...

walkerbert: 2 words: Try me. ...

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