Business Report 1/13/16: Rival views of an economic recovery - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Business Report 1/13/16: Rival views of an economic recovery

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

President Obama said gas under $2 a gallon ain't bad. But South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said many Americans are still feeling the squeeze of an economy too weak to raise income levels.

Both are right.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said credit for the improving economy goes more to the Fed than to Obama.

That's true, too.

The Fed always impacts the economy more than the White House or Congress. Congress can do little to move the economy, except to occasionally screw it up. It can be argued Congress played a role in the crash of 2008. For years it put political pressure on lenders to extend home ownership to more Americans. And, at the behest of big banks, it disabled controls that would have limited reckless investments.

Congress cut federal spending when more road and bridge repairs would have sped up the recovery. But, most economists think the biggest factors preventing more of an increase in income levels have been job exports and the increasing use of outside contractors, basically stuff the private sector is doing.

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