Sagging economy must be addressed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 8, 2003

For the first time in many weeks, the national focus on the economy is overshadowing news of international standoffs.

Perhaps in response to criticism that he wasn't focusing enough on the still-sagging economy, President Bush has refocused his energies – proposing tax cuts, extending jobless benefits, and vowing to find way to stimulate the national economy.

It's a necessary focus, given how intricately entwined our foreign and domestic issues have become.

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When Osama bin Laden orchestrated the 9-11 terrorists attacks, he reiterated a vow to bring America's capitalist society to its knees. The attack was not only on the physical structures, but also on the economic infrastructures. He knew that the threat of danger would rattle the economy and the American public.

And it has.

President Bush, Congressional leaders, business owners, employees, consumers all recognize that. They verbalize the impact and frustration in different ways, and the result is evident in what we call a "still-sagging economy."

In truth, the domestic and international issues must be addressed in tandem. We cannot ignore the terrorist threat from Iraq and the likelihood of war looms large in America. Now, a new nuclear standoff with North Korea complicates the global situation, and raises new concerns and hesitancies.

And President Bush must remain calm and reassure the American public, by addressing the most tangible issue at hand – money in their pockets.

Tax cuts, particularly those which can stimulate spending, are necessary.

President Bush and Congress are well-served to continue to focus on the economic incentive packages, even as the international issues continue to develop.