The Big Question: How can Obama re-ignite his message of change?

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:

President Obama has to turn the economy around and get people back to work. This means either more stimulus, getting the Fed to target a higher rate of inflation, or getting the dollar down enough to get the trade deficit closer to balance.

Alternatively, he could go the route of work-sharing — using unemployment benefit funds to pay firms to shorten hours rather than lay people off. This route has proven extremely effective in many other countries, most notably Germany. Germany has a lower unemployment rate today than it did at the start of the downturn.

Most people would probably consider shorter workweeks and longer vacations to be a better route than double-digit unemployment.



Bernie Quigley, Pundits Blog contributor, said:

Nothing. Ride it out. President Obama completes a historical cycle that began in 1831 and took its first initiatives in our times when Eisenhower and Kennedy began the integration of the South. It is a cycle of growth, maturity and great historic success. Obama completes the technical necessities of this journey. The rest it up to us. He should leave it at that. He is not a manager and did not need to be one to fulfill his historic purpose. But now we need a manager.
 

John Feehery, Pundits Blog contributor:

Take his boot off the throat of American business and let them start creating jobs.


Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy at U.C. Irvine, said:

The only thing Obama can do now is to try to save his own skin. Bill Clinton post-1994 must be his role model. He needs to “triangulate”. The difference here is that he starts far more to the left than Clinton and will likely not have the credibility to undergo transformation without destroying his base.

He’s a one-termer. 'Nuff said.


Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:

I'm tempted to say "resign," but then that would give us Joe Biden.

Although it's unlikely, he could completely reverse his present economic policies, allow deflation to occur, get rid of Obamacare, and get the government out of the way of the recovery — which would occur naturally if he would just let it.

Oh, and tell Ben Bernanke to stop printing all that "money."

 
A.B. Stoddard, associate editor and columnist at The Hill, said:

President Obama needs to make a mid-course correction and fast in order to reposition himself for 2012. Not only do voters think he either hasn't brought change or has brought the wrong kind, but an increasing number of voters believe the country is on the wrong track. He has to bring hope back or he can't win. That hope will come from more Americans believing his policies will eventually improve this fragile economy and also bring back jobs. Experts tell us the economy won't grow quickly enough to keep pace with population for years to come, so if Obama can't make his case for his record — and convince enough people his plans can ultimately work — then nearly 10 percent unemployment will tell his story for him. It's time to go to places where people don't trust him, and listen to them. It's time to try and explain how his ambitious agenda can eventually grow the economy. Then it's time to start talking about real spending cuts. People will listen.

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