A top economic aide to President Obama defended the administration’s multi-front strategy to tackle a number of economic issues at once, calling it “the right medicine,” while a House GOP leader criticized those plans as a “lack of focus.”
“It is an economic war,” said Christina Romer, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “We have inherited a crisis like none since we had the Great Depression. So absolutely, it is something we need to deal with. I think we are.”
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Romer acknowledged, “We haven’t won yet. We have staged a wonderful battle. So we have put in place just a host of programs: the stimulus package, the financial rescue plan, the housing plan. We think it’s the right medicine and we think it will work.”
Romer cited a “focus on fundamentals” by the administration. “The other thing I think is so important, the president has actually said in terms of fundamentals, we need to make changes,” she said. “That’s why he’s focusing on energy, education, getting the budget deficit under control...”
However, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor , R-Va., also appearing on the program, criticized the administration for not targeting the fiscal crisis first.
“I want to believe that we’re going to get out of this mess. I think all Americans do,” he said. “But I’ll tell you, on Friday I met with 25 small-business people in my district, and times our tough. I mean, we know that 650,000 people lost their job last month. If my math is correct, that works out to be about 15 jobs a minute that people are losing. ...
“I think we’re seeing out of the Obama administration is a lack of focus on how to get things going again. If we’re going to get things going again, how can we have a budget that doubles the debt on our children?”
The White House reportedly will announce Monday that it will provide an estimated $10 billion to thaw out credit markets specifically for small businesses.