Where Was Obama When the Middle Class Needed Him?

Six long years into presidency, Barack Obama has finally made the middle-class an explicit priority— placing “middle-class economics,” as he called it repeatedly in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, front and center on his agenda. But what the president is asking for may be too little and it’s arriving far too late. While his proposals are sensible— lowering the tax burden on middle-class families and expanding access to education, job training and retirement, in part by closing loopholes and raising taxes on capital gains—very few of them have much chance of passing.

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Larry Summers’ Stimulus Dream Right—But Impossible in Current Political Climate

Larry Summers, former treasury secretary, former president of Harvard and the former head of President Obama’s National Economic Council, made waves yesterday with an unequivocal and passionate call for a new round of stimulus to address what he rightly perceives as a weak recovery for American jobs and economic activity in general. In his view, the U.S. economy is hobbled by weak demand for goods and services, compounded of course, by high unemployment.

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Stimulating

After months of confusion, we are about to close a painful chapter in the economic crisis of 2008-2009. With the imminent passage of the $800 billion stimulus package combined with the roll-out of the next stages of the government-orchestrated bank bailout and recapitalization, we are about to end the talking phase and enter the doing phase. While no one can say for sure whether these plans will work, it’s certain that they will have an effect.

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