Chicago Tribune: Pelosi takes on the roaring economy

August 17, 2018

The country is 12 weeks out from a midterm election that could flip control of the House from Republican to Democratic — and potentially return California’s Nancy Pelosi to her former position as speaker. Pelosi is out evangelizing. During a recent visit to Chicago, Pelosi guided a discussion about American voters who are worried about their economic futures, and about solutions she says Democrats can offer.

“You would think everything is good,” she said, having been reminded by our questioning that yes, the economy does look strong, with 4.1 percent growth and 3.9 percent unemployment. Yet, Pelosi retorted, health care costs are too high and wage increases are too slow. From her perspective, the country was on a better path during the era of President Barack Obama (and Speaker Nancy Pelosi). They passed the Affordable Care Act, which Pelosi still believes is the best course for providing quality health care to the most people. Side note: Obamacare, while well-intentioned, is tottering. Pelosi said Democrats in the next Congress, if in the majority, could work with Republicans on a new infrastructure bill to help more people get better jobs. This surprised us, given that construction spending on roads and bridges, while important, tends to come with a short-term burst of hiring and a big price tag. What we didn’t hear was much appreciation for the American economy’s robust growth and low unemployment, which Pelosi downplayed as “4 and 4 and all the rest of that.” Hmm, does “the rest of that” include joblessness at a record low for Hispanics and near a record for African-Americans? She didn’t go there.

— Chicago Tribune

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