There is general sense of disappointment that the US economy has not turned-around; that the issues just refuse to go away! The people are hurting, with unemployment stubbornly high. President Obama walked into his job, with the economy in tatters, but promised to fix it, as a top priority. But the hole is proving too deep to fill, the sacrifices just too high to sell to the many that are used to their ways, unable & unwilling to change direction.
On a light-hearted note; it is like someone walking-in as the nth husband of a famous actress; he knows what to do, but how to make it interesting? There are many top economists who agree, disagree, and even agree to disagree on many issues. But they do not have to face elections, and they also have the benefits of hindsight! But President Obama cannot call for sacrifices that will make his support levels untenable to govern. Also, the interests of some are too entrenched and will not necessarily rhyme with that of the majority suffering the pain!
It is like borrowing to live a comfortable life and then having to repay the principal & mounting interest. The problem is the income has not risen to live for the present & repay the borrowings with interest; also, the multitudes of problems outside the shores crippling much-needed action at home. US is in a bind, unable to change its set ways, with trade deficits with China mounting; but the latter having to play along, not to upset the apple cart, and to bring both & also others down! That will effectively crash the whole system, with no winners in the end! Rising from the dead, like after the Haiti earthquake!
To its credit, US remains the vanguard of many great qualities that make life with living, showing direction to others, helping them even when it is down; so it is in the interest of the free world that US remains the pre-eminent power. The issue is to tackle crippling problems head-on, convincing those called upon to sacrifice, that it is worth it and there is light at the end of the tunnel. There were easier times, when leaders were supposed to have knowledge that the lesser mortals were not endowed with; but with a changed world, with free-flowing information on the go, many are led to believe that things could be hunky-dory, without much change in their lifestyles!
So the issues will just keep revisiting us at more frequent times like bacteria/virus that is not treated by powerful antibiotics, but with aspirin! News like the country is out of recession, will not hit home when unemployment is still high. That some pioneering effort like clean energy is done in China even by American companies, drive home the point that the ground is slipping away under the feet of the US!
The issues are real, but the political costs prove too high to tackle, with the needed urgency. The stoical common man is more than willing for sacrifices, if there is light at the end of the tunnel; than having to live in endless periods of uncertainty, till the roof caves-in, all of a sudden! President Obama has to take the initiative to drive home the point, trust the ordinary Joe and then with his backing, make the entrenched interests, who are tougher nuts to crack, chip-in. The symptoms are clear and the patient is willing for surgery, if that will give him permanent relief; otherwise the life is a drag with nothing to look forward to!
The needed global cooperation has to be sought, once the home-front is cleared of obstacles. Others know that every time US sneezes, the rest will catch cold or even worse! We are all in it together, as all had also enjoyed, to some degree, the unsustainable ride! It is only fair that the whole world sees the wider issue of coming out of the problems once & for all than going piecemeal & leaving the biggest economy, alone to face the music! The leaders have to convince their people; part of their job, anyway, and also why they are elected to their posts! There are limited choices, otherwise than, like those addicted to the bottle or worse, go on the ride without holding their reins! At least for the drunk, it might not matter whether he ends up in heaven or hell!