President Obama's economic message is that "we're on the right track" and we should give him more time. But if the economy "stalls"—about a 50-50 chance—the message won't hold up, writes Robert Reich in the Guardian. It's time for Obama to present a "clear, bold strategy" that contrasts with the austerity measures currently driving Europe into a recession. The former labor secretary offers Obama a four-point plan:
- Call on banks to modify mortgages for homeowners slammed by the housing bubble. Threaten to reinstate a division between commercial and investment banking—and to break up the biggest banks—if they fail to comply.
- Battle gas price increases by curbing Wall Street oil speculation, which has hiked prices by nearly $1 per gallon, according to studies.
- Put job creation before spending cuts, and make sure America knows it. "Commit to vetoing any spending cuts until the unemployment rate in the US is down to 5%."
- Make it clear that economic inequality is killing the recovery. When so much money goes to the wealthiest, "the vast middle class lacks the purchasing power to fire up the economy."
Read the full column here