Zakaria: Obama should think big
February 12th, 2013
04:44 PM ET

Zakaria: Obama should think big

Fareed Zakaria offers his take on why President Barack Obama should think big in his upcoming State of the Union address. Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of the address, starting at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday.

On the president’s watch, we know that the country has now added 1.2 million jobs since he took office, but it’s not creating enough jobs fast enough to sustain a strong recovery. You see the housing market is coming back. The stock market is rallying. But how much can this president really do in the next four years to get the economy going again?

He could do a lot. We are actually in good shape compared with Europe, compared with Japan.

What this president should do is try to enlist Congress in recognizing that with borrowing costs at historical lows, what we need to do is rebuild America and gain jobs…and allow the economy to get to a kind of escape velocity.

If the president were to announce he has a big, new infrastructure bank that is going to borrow money, but which is going to spend it to rebuild America – invest in the future, rebuild the bridges and highways, build a new generation of smart grid, build a new airport system, a new air traffic system – I think the public at large would like to hear that.

This is the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. People said we could never do something like that. It was the largest and most expensive government project ever, but unleashed 100 years of economic trade.

So, we have to think in those large terms. If we do, we can do things. If we believe we are entirely constrained, we can’t do much.

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Topics: Barack Obama • Politics • United States

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Travis

    Obama should think big, Zakaria says. In fact, Barack Obama along with his right-wing cronies need to be indicted, taken to the I.C.C. and prosecuted for crimes against humanity as well as George W. Bush and Tony Blair. With the use of those godless drones and Apache helicopters, he continues to slaughter people day after day in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen currently with total impunity and this is simply not right!

    February 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Well said Travis, and so very true too!!!

      February 13, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    Obama wanted to spark economic growth, like the one America saw in the good old "Kennedy" days. In many ways he tried to bring back this spirit, without dwelling on the past. Not only he, as president, who leaves in 4 years, but the whole nation has to tread a tortuous path to make growth happen.

    February 13, 2013 at 6:20 am | Reply
  3. rightospeak

    More bull for the gullible. Obama needs to bring back offshored jobs, close the border, stop work visas which lower wages in the US. He needs to abandon Globalist Agenda which is destroying this country. Obama needs to bring all troops hope and with money saved from the military ( the Marsians are not going to attack us ) he needs to spend money on infrastructure and he can stop borrowing money from Communist Chinese.
    To get more credibility he needs to put Wall Street crooks behind bars and do investigation into 9/11 and jail the perpetrators.

    February 13, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Well said, rightospeak.

      February 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
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