McCarthy sees a solution to the situation. Clinton and former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers have suggested that Washington extend the Bush tax cuts temporarily in order to prevent a slowdown. "You would have the biggest stimulus with no money being borrowed," McCarthy told me, and the president could promise tax reform next year -- if he's re-elected.
But it won't happen, because Obama puts all his energy not into fixing the economy but into raising campaign funds and blaming Republicans. "The president," McCarthy sighed, "he's done legislating."