The Talk: Congressional Recess and the Economic Mess
August 5, 2011
Chip Lebovitz: The debt ceiling crisis has been finally defused, or at least, temporarily disarmed. Congress has fled the capitol for its August recess. With unemployment over 9 percent, how should the president be trying to get the country back on track?
Ross Freiman-Mendel: Having just turned 50, the president should probably just celebrate his birthday. The most effective thing that he can do at this point is nothing — this vacation could be the least destructive weeks of his presidency. In all seriousness though, the name of the game when Congress and the president return will be the economy.
Chip Lebovitz: Think more proactively: the name of the post-recess game may be the economy, but the unemployment numbers determine the score. The president has a couple of options moving forward to help bolster the flagging economy. A smart first step would be to demand a resolution to the recent Federal Aviation Administration shutdown. 75,000 workers should not remain unemployed because members of congress are more focused on their recess and fundraising than actually running the country.
Ross Freiman-Mendel: Again, Congress remains divided on the FAA issues, with both houses having offered different plans. The president displayed his immaturity as a negotiator and inability to lead during the debt-ceiling debate, so I don’t expect much from him. With a failed attempt at stimulus, can you be more specific in what the current administration can do?