The Financial Times:
[Because Congress is unlikely to go along with the President’s near-term economic proposals, the] best the president can do is rally public support for specific new measures. He could have been doing that in the Midwest. He could be doing it this week. Why the delay? Lack of economics heft in the White House may be a factor: the members of a once-outstanding economics team have left and have not been replaced by experts of like calibre. The ability to frame policy and present it authoritatively is not what it should be. In broad terms, the needed elements are plain: further short-term stimulus combined with credible longer-term fiscal restraint. Cut the payroll tax, extend jobless benefits and subsidise new jobs; then curb entitlement spending by raising the retirement age. Neither party in Congress is willing to embrace both sides of that proposal. The only hope of changing this is for Mr Obama to reset his presidency. Be bold. Lead more forcefully. Since all else has failed, put a serious plan to the country and win the argument.
Success in this would be far from guaranteed and the political risk is obvious. But the alternative, tactically and substantively, is worse – and Mr Obama no longer has much to lose.