Strategist: Dems Need to Focus on Economic Growth

Economy is running at half the speed of the Clinton era.

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President Obama and the Democratic party need to focus more intensely on creating economic growth, which is the most important issue facing the American public, says a prominent Democratic centrist.

"We're stuck in a low-growth rut and we need to get on a high-growth path," says Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute.

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Marshall says growth has averaged less than 2 percent since 2000 and the nation's leaders should be doing all they can to get it back to the 4 percent experienced in the 1990s during the administration of President Bill Clinton.

"House Republicans have hijacked the agenda and won't allow it to get off the deficit-reduction kick," Marshall argues.

Nearly 30 million uninsured Americans are eventually expected to get coverage through President Barack Obama's health care law.
Nearly 30 million uninsured Americans are eventually expected to get coverage through President Barack Obama's health care law.

"We need a growth model centered on investing in innovation," in addition to other economic investments and tax reform, Marshall says.

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Meanwhile, Obama is focusing on immigration reform and gun control, which are important goals but not as important to the country as expanding the macro economy, Marshall argues.

The Progressive Policy Institute was founded in 1989 to move the Democrats in a more centrist direction.

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com, and followed on Facebook and Twitter.