Lawrence Summers delivered what was essentially his swan song from the Obama Administration, where he serves as director of the White House’s National Economic Council through the end of this year before returning to Harvard University.
Speaking at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington on Dec. 13, a day before the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and after the Senate procedural vote on the Obama-GOP tax bill, the former president of Harvard and Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton defended the current Administration’s economic policies.
Summers said that while the American economy “may be out of the intensive care unit, the patient now faces the long road of not simply recovering from the current affliction, but needing to address its chronic ailments.”
“The slow process of recovery leads some to conclude that we have now entered a weakened state of affairs,” but said that he and “President Obama reject this view.”
Asking next, “What’s holding our economy back?” Summers answered his own question by arguing that “the constraint on our economy now and in the years ahead will be the lack of demand” on the part of both businesses and consumers, the restoration of which he called an “unquestionably necessary component of a full recovery.”