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Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis is University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business at the University of Southern California. His newest book is 'Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership.'

Create jobs and tax the rich

Q:The overwhelming consensus among economists is that the economy needs another shot of short-term stimulus spending. But as the president and congressional leaders have discovered in trying to pass a new stimulus bill, voters want to start bringing the deficit down now. Is this one of those leadership moments when it is better to accommodate strong constituent beliefs rather than trying to convince them they are wrong?

Leadership is key here. And this is the time for Obama to deploy it.

The issue is not the false dichotomy between voters looking for a deficit reduction versus fiscal stimulus. Deficit reduction is a stale political gambit, which will require attention at some later time, but is egged on now by the conservative pundits and pols who can't think of any other intelligent thing to say except NO.

The president and his advisers must surely realize that the people most disenchanted are out of work and feel hopeless about getting future work; they need jobs now and without more fiscal stimulus and more spending, that won't be possible.

The president has to make that point loud and clear to the voters: Fiscal stimulus means more jobs, and the deficit can be reduced by taxing the rich.

By Warren Bennis

 |  June 22, 2010; 3:17 AM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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