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Slade Gorton
Political leader

Slade Gorton

A former U.S. Senator and Washington State Attorney General, Slade Gorton served on the 9/11 Commission.

The next Congress provides the best opportunity

Question: The conventional political wisdom is that the American public will reject politicians who propose or embrace a plan to bring the federal budget into balance through tax hikes and/or deep spending cuts. Is this a leadership challenge without a good solution? Can there be leadership without follow-ship?

The next Congress presents the best possible opportunity for real leadership. The American people are conflicted between a horror of mounting debt and deficits and their desire not to have their own benefits slashed, so neither party can be successful alone--by reason of the inevitable downside. But if the president were willing to lead by endorsing the recommendations of his own deficit panel (or even better, the Domenici-Rivlin proposals), and if the Republican leadership were take the plunge and agree, there might well be a sufficient number of Congressional followers to reach the goal. And so, in a truly rosy scenario, the economy might recover quickly enough that not too many of the brave would lose their seats.

By Slade Gorton

 |  November 30, 2010; 11:34 AM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals , Congressional leadership , Crisis leadership , Followership , Government leadership , Managing Crises , Political leadership , Presidential leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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