August 29th, 2011
03:58 PM ET

Letters to the President #952 'The economy comes around again'

Reporter's Note: The president is back at work. Meanwhile, Irene, has run off to Canada! Here is today’s letter.

Dear Mr. President,

Let’s see, the hurricane is past; Libya seems to be growing a little stale; the Republicans don’t seem to be eating their own at the moment…uh oh, I think people are going to start talking about the economy again. Actually, I’m pretty sure a lot of folks have never stopped talking about it.

And you can’t blame them. When you don’t have a job, or you are living in mortal fear of losing one; or your house value and retirement funds have cratered; or you’re watching the kids wrap up high school without a clue on this planet how you’ll pay for college, it is kind of hard to get too worked up about other matters.

So, like I said, even though you are just back from vacation I’m pretty sure you’re going to hear a heavy chorus of that song that has been ringing in your ears ever since you took office: What are you going to do about the economy?

I noticed that you have a new economic advisor. Alan Krueger. I know that you are ginning up for a big speech next week on how Washington might be able to get the economy back on track. I hope he can help, because it seems like a truly daunting task and I don’t think any president, Democratic, Republican, or otherwise, could get it done in any short time.

I was thinking about how you were pounding on the Republicans some months back with that whole, “the car of the economy is stuck in the ditch, and the Democrats are trying to drive it out, but the Republicans keep pushing it back in!” or something like that. I have the feeling that, even though you may still feel that way, you may be regretting those words now, because next year if not sooner, you can bet the Republican candidates are going to slap that on you over and over and over again: “Well, Mr. President…the economy is still in the ditch! You’ve been in charge for years now and whether we’ve helped or not, you have yet to maneuver it to the middle of the road!”

It’s not going to be pretty. But that is going to be the way of life. So even if it is unpleasant to hear all the economy talk no sooner than you’ve cleaned the sand out of your sandals, get used to it. I suspect you’ve enjoyed your last even reasonably relaxing vacation before the next election. Oh sure, you may take some breaks, but they will be amid a growing economic and political storm which will make our recently departed pal, Irene, look like the proverbial tempest in a teacup.

Call if you can. Did you see my Saints in the pre-season game against the Raiders? I know that pre-season doesn’t really mean anything, but it was fun to watch.



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