In the compound, Mr. Obama often played with the two sons of the physician?s driver.
One time, recalled the elder son, Slamet Januadi, now 52, Mr. Obama asked a group of boys whether they wanted to grow up to be president, a soldier or a businessman. A president would own nothing while a soldier would possess weapons and a businessmen would have money, the young Obama explained.
Mr. Januadi and his younger brother, both of whom later joined the Indonesian military, said they wanted to become soldiers. Another boy, a future banker, said he would become a businessman.
?Then Barry said he would become president and order the soldier to guard him and the businessman to use his money to build him something,? Mr. Januadi said. ?We told him, ?You cheated. You didn?t give us those details.? ?
?But we all became what we said we would,? he said.
Obama further enraged his supporters when he announced this week he wanted Congress to freeze the pay of civilian federal government employees as a step toward cutting the huge U.S. budget deficit. The unions have vowed to fight the proposal and Democrats
If he fails, taxes will go up for every American on Jan. 1. If that happens, the new Congress would likely rectify the situation within days after being sworn in. The political damage to Mr. Obama would not be undone nearly as quickly. Failure to pass the tax compromise would make the president appear impotent. Confidence among Democrats would collapse. And there would be more challenges to Mr. Obama's leadership from within his own party, perhaps even in the 2012 primaries.
Most importantly, failure would imperil $400 billion in tax cuts that would be a more effective economic boost than Mr. Obama's justifiably ridiculed stimulus. Without much healthier economic growth and far more robust job creation, Mr. Obama has little chance of wooing back the independents who elected him in 2008 yet abandoned Democrats in 2010."
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