By Dr. Lee M. Miringoff
It’s not really a Catch-22 for President Obama when it comes to the economy. Although this new president may relish some political cover from the 76% of Americans who believe he inherited our current economic malaise, responsibility for stabilizing the shaky buck will ultimately end up on his desk…perhaps, sooner than later.
75% of Americans know someone who has lost their job in the last six months, nearly twice the number of Americans thinks the economy is getting worse than think it’s improving, and 78% report they think the nation’s economic troubles will persist at least until next year. People’s patience on money matters is likely to be short-lived.
Although 61% of the national electorate think President Obama is fulfilling campaign promises which clearly included a complex agenda of domestic and international initiatives, 49% already think he is doing too much too soon. “Change” may be the key word for this Administration, but it’s the economy that is people’s priority #1.
If President Obama does nothing else but fix the economy — clearly, no easy matter — his presidency will be judged a success. Anything else he accomplishes, as long as the economy lags, will cast a cloud over his fresh presidency.
Now, there has been a glimmer of good news recently about the performance of the economy which is reflected in the poll numbers. 49% of Americans think the nation is headed in the right direction and more people think their personal finances are likely to get better in the coming year as opposed to worsen.
So, President Obama is wise to act forcefully and fast on the economy…investing in the short run whatever political capital he has accumulated along the campaign trail. “Honeymoon” is already the least used word by Washington wordsmiths.