As part of my update from my D.C. trip, I promised to provide insights from my meetings. During my visit, there was predictably a lot of talk surrounding the economy. Here are some brief nuggets of information I received on the economy and jobs:
- There is a “new normal” explanation regarding where the US economy currently is according to the Administration. They seem to think we need to live with this concept. This new phenomenon includes high unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt. Many Congressmen and Senators do not accept this idea especially on the Republican side. This gulf in ideology will come to a head this fall when the budget and fiscal cliff issues come back to the forefront of public debate.
- Lexington and Louisville have commissioned the Brookings Institute to help develop an economic growth model for the region. The Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM) is an effort to develop a joint regional business plan supporting the growth of high-quality jobs in advanced manufacturing. There is or soon will be a draft report that should be released this month that should be required reading for area business people.
- The redevelopment of the Bluegrass Army Depot and Paducah Gaseous Diffusion facility is an important issue and a priority to Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation. There are lots of jobs associated with these facilities and the infrastructure for redevelopment is in place at both locations.
- Obama Care-It’s interesting that the Administration has told staff not to discuss the net jobs impact of the program. While I was there, legislation was introduced in the House to push back for one year the corporate and individual mandates.