No direction

This is the third anniversary of what the Obama administration dubbed the "Recovery Summer." As outlined back then by Vice President Joe Biden, 2010's mid-year economic surge would be driven by the 2009 Recovery Act. That legislation appropriated nearly $800 billion to be spent on things such as highway construction, drinking water and clean water projects, home weatherization and the national parks. All this spending was supposed to shift the national economy into a higher gear.

Zoom ahead to the summer of 2013, and a headline in Monday's edition of The Wall Street Journal declared, "Growth Outlook Stuck in Neutral." A mix of disappointing news about corporate earnings and other financial projections suggest the economy will continue to limp along at a pace that isn't likely to spur much job growth, according to the article.

One factor we're sure isn't helping the economy is the continuing uncertainty over the impact the Affordable Care Act is having on job growth. President Obama's decision to delay enforcement of the act's requirement that companies with 50 or more full-time employees provide health insurance or face a tax, and the effort in Congress last week to delay the individual insurance mandate, only increased the confusion.

With the White House and Senate controlled by Democrats and the House with a Republican majority, some are waiting to see if the 2014 mid-term elections push things in one ideological direction or the other. Then again, we may emerge from that vote with no more of a clear direction than we have now, which doesn't bode well for the nation's economic vitality.
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