Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Richard Pacelle, professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, to find some answers.
Here & Now‘s Robin Young hosted a panel recently for the Boston College Law School class of 1977 reunion, entitled “Advice for the Next President.” She asked, “You have the ear of the new president. What do you tell him?”
Peter Krause, professor of political science at Boston College says:
“I think there’s a tendency both from President Obama and Mitt Romney in their speeches to kick the can down the road regarding a number of issues to the Mideast: Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, policies regarding the Arab Spring, and I think that ultimately that’s not the way to go. There are developments on the ground — demographic developments, economic developments, etcetera — that are happening whether the U.S. does something or not. So at the end of the day, if we decide, look, we want to pivot to Asia, or we want to bring the troops home… that’s fine. But that needs to be a clear decision that’s thought out in the context of talking to the American people, as oppose to what we’re currently doing, which is avoiding these problems simply because there are no good options, just the least bad option.”
Richard Tresch, professor of economics at Boston College, says:
“Go after jobs right now, not after the deficit, until the economy is well on track and humming along. What we need to do, if I could pick one policy, would be a couple hundred billion dollars of aid to the state and local governments, so they could hire back the teachers and firefighters that they had to let go. that would lower the unemployment right away and get the economy moving again… We eventually have to do something about [the deficit], but worry about the jobs first.”
Brian Galle, professor of law at Boston College Law School, says:
“Tell him to govern like its his last term… The reason is, if you look historically, leaders at the state level who have been able get real fiscal reform done have been governors facing terminals — and I think incentives really matter… Don’t be politically timid, but don’t fear the political blow back. I think that success is a political reward.”