President Obama has a need to further stimulate the economy.
But does the economy really need more Obama-styled stimulation?
Speaking in Paris, France this past week, Christina Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers noted that "It would be wrong to tighten fiscal policy immediately, as that would nip the nascent economic recovery in the bud.” During a week when President Obama was busy raising campaign cash for Senator Barbara Boxer in San Francisco, taking photos with the Duke University basketball team at the White House, lunching with Bill Clinton, and – yes – holding his first press conference in ten months to talk about the gulf oil spill, Ms. Romer traveled to Europe as the President’s representative to the annual meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a 31-nation watchdog that includes the world's richest economies.
While there, Ms. Romer astutely observed that “unemployment is still painfully high,” and that "nothing would be more damaging than a protracted recession that brought about permanent high unemployment.” She further noted that the President was planning “further targeted fiscal actions” to stimulate the U.S. economy, after the President’s current economic stimulus plan “winds down” next year.
Ms. Romer’s remarks, innocuous and non-substantive as they were, nonetheless were consistent with the Obama Administration’s overall public posture on the economy. Yet her comments also serve as an additional reminder of two extremely important truths – truths that at times seem all but forgotten, in the midst of the ongoing economic hardship.
For one, President Obama’s “need” to stimulate the economy, and the genuine needs of the economy itself, are not the same thing. Elected politicians like the U.S. President generally always have an immediate need to appear as though they’re doing something constructive, and to make people feel good about the economy (or at least as good as they possibly can) right here, and right now.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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