Now that Barack Obama is back in the U.S., after his whirlwind trip to the Middle East and Europe, he’s ready to start focusing on the “top issue for American voters — the faltering U.S. economy.”
That’s welcome news, because every one I speak to from friends to business associates are all concerned with economic issues. As he hits the campaign trail again, Barack Obama will travel to “Washington to meet with a star-studded panel that includes billionaire investor Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and Google chairman Eric Schmidt.”
Polls show economic worries lead voter concerns by a wide margin. After a week out of the country meeting world leaders and discussing foreign policy, Obama said he is anxious to shift gears to high gas prices, home foreclosures and bank failures.
“People are worried about gas prices, they’re worried about job security, they’re worried about their retirement fund as the stock market goes down,” Obama told a gathering of minority journalists in Chicago on Sunday.
“People are understandably concerned about the immediate effects of the economy, and that’s what we will be talking about for the duration,” he said.
Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, all members of the Clinton administration, will also attend the “economic session in a Washington hotel on Monday.” And ABC’s Political Punch notes that Bush administration veteran “former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and former Securities and Exchange Commissioner William Donaldson” will also be in attendance.
Obama told NBC’s Meet the Press that he wanted the group to “examine the policies that we’ve already put forward: a middle-class tax cut, a second round of stimulus, an effort to shore up the housing market.”
It is these types of economic issues, Obama said, that “will dominate voter concerns in the race to the November election against Republican John McCain.” He’s right. All across America, people are struggling to put gas in the car to get to work, put food on the table, keep up with rising food prices and keep their homes from slipping into foreclosure.
We’ve got a real mess on our hands in nearly every aspect of the economy and although Congress just passed a new housing bill, that in itself is nothing but a “temporary fix.”