President Barack Obama needs to convince the American people that they are better off economically. Even White House aides though are far from optimistic that he will be successful, Politico reported
The economy is sending mixed signals. The stock market is up. The 5 percent rate of growth in the gross domestic product is better than at any time in the last 10 years. Hiring is up and unemployment is down. Personal income is modestly up. Commodities like oil are down suggesting that the economy is still sluggish. While exports are up, the housing market has still not bounced back to pre-recession levels, The Wall Street Journal reported
Average Americans, however, will be most concerned about stagnating salaries which are not keeping up with prices.
"You can't convince people that their paycheck is going farther than it was — and you shouldn't try. That would be a big mistake. What you can do is try to affect people's optimism for the long term," said a top administration official. "If we can make people understand that there are reasons for a bright future and the president has a plan to address what ails them, then that will be real progress," Politico reported.
The president sought to lay down a basis for such optimism in the Oct. 2 speech
he delivered at Northwestern University. Obama acknowledged that while the economy is getting stronger "by every economic measure" it is "indisputable that millions of Americans don't yet feel enough of the benefits" in their own lives.
Republicans in Congress are urging the president to focus on tangibles. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says Obama "has every right to go out and talk about his message" but wants him to convince Democrats on the hill to back tax reform and trade measures that would provide more jobs. "If he's willing to explain that, which he says he's for, that would be great. Without his help, particularly with Democrats, it will be difficult to move that agenda that he says he's for," Politico reported.
The president is expected to devote a good portion of his State of the Union address to the economy.
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