After the Election, It’s Still the Economy, Stupid

Nov 8, 2012

We’re in that weird spot in between the election and Congress returning for a lame duck session. This makes for a good moment to look at Americans’ top issues according to a Gallup analysis.

James Carville’s ghost haunts us, because it’s still “The Economy, stupid.” As you can see, the economy dominates. What’s more, according to Gallup's Economic Confidence Index, “more Americans remain negative than positive on the current status and the future direction of the economy.” The public wants the economy to grow faster and create more jobs.

What can be done?

First and most-immediate in the lame duck session, Congress and the administration have to avoid letting the economy go over the “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and automatic spending cuts that would push the economy into recession.

Next, Washington should advance pro-growth policies to support the private sector like comprehensive tax reform and spending reforms that addresses entitlement programs; nurturing—not stifling—the energy boom; rebuilding our infrastructure; stopping needless new regulations from being enacted and reexamining rules on the books; expanding global trade through agreements with countries in Asia (through the Trans-Pacific Partnership), Europe, and elsewhere; making America more welcome to international tourists and business travelers; and protecting American intellectual property.

[All this is contained in the U.S. Chamber’s American Jobs and Growth Agenda.]

There’s a lot here, and no one expects much to happen in the lame duck. But as Gallup found, Americans want their leaders to find ways to grow a still-sluggish economy.

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