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Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert

Kathryn Kolbert, a public-interest attorney and journalist, is the Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, an interdisciplinary center devoted to the theory and practice of women's leadership.

Getting them back to work

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?

Politicians need to have courage to do what's right and at the same time be responsive to the voters' concerns. Does this mean they sit tight now? No.

Voters who are concerned about the economy simply want jobs so they can protect their families and enliven their communities. Unless they work for Halliburton, they are understandably upset when they see the government spend, big corporations rake in the big bucks and they are still facing 10 percent-plus unemployment.

So whatever new recovery bill Congress passes has to put people back to work as quickly as possible and in a visible way. How about monies to hire members of the NRA to sell insurance for AARP?

By Kathryn Kolbert

 |  June 22, 2010; 1:02 PM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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