White House considers ‘next steps to keep the economy growing’

WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERS ‘NEXT STEPS TO KEEP THE ECONOMY GROWING’…. President Obama’s vacation still has a few days to go, but a president is never fully on vacation, and developments still demand his attention.

Take the economy, for example.

U.S. President Barack Obama held a conference call with his top economic advisers on Wednesday to discuss recent data reports, global markets and economic growth, the White House said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House advisers Christy Romer and Larry Summers took part in the call with Obama, who is vacationing on the Massachusetts islands of Martha’s Vineyard.

“The economic team provided an update on the next steps to keep the economy growing, including assistance to small businesses and the extension of tax cuts to the middle class,” the White House said in a statement.

The statement added that the discussion “focused on recent data reports, global markets and economic growth.” That’s not exactly a detailed summary, but then again, I don’t expect one under the circumstances.

What seems noteworthy here is that recent events made the call necessary in the first place. The president is, not surprisingly, aware of reports this week that cast the economy in a negative light, and arranging a discussion with his team not only makes sense, it also suggests a degree of concern.

Good. There should be concern. There should be lots of conference calls and strategy sessions and brain-storming and creative thinking. Ideally, there’d be all kinds of indications that leading officials are actively engaged in crafting a compelling economic plan for the very near future.

The White House statement said Obama heard about “the next steps to keep the economy growing.” I don’t have a sense of what those “next steps” might be, exactly, but here’s hoping there are lots of them.

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