Simply put, these realities make it necessary for Washington to resist two years of gridlock and policy paralysis. Democrats and Republicans must meet in the middle to implement policies to deal with debt overhangs and structural rigidities. The economy needs political courage that transcends expediency in favour of long-term solutions on issues including housing reform, medium-term budget rules, pro-growth tax reforms, investments in physical and technological infrastructure, job retraining, greater support for education and scientific research, and better nets to protect the most vulnerable segments of society.
Success requires an element of policy experimentation as well as confidence that mid-course policy corrections will be identified and undertaken on a timely basis. And such efforts must be wrapped in an encompassing economic vision that acts as a magnet of conversion nationally, counters growing international frictions and facilitates much-needed global economic coordination.