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.