And then, third, is what he should say. And I think that's an interesting thing. I think he has to -- he probably shouldn't be calling for what I would want, because the public should want what I want, but it doesn't. So he probably should be calling for things like a limited, but significant program of infrastructure repair, things that we really need, plus things that -- like a large payroll tax cut.
The main thing is, I think he has to be bold, has to be making the case, look, there are things we could be doing, there are things I want to do. Those guys are not letting it happen.
AMANPOUR: Well, Doug, can he be bold for the very reasons that poll just suggested, it's -- it's not possible?
HOLTZ-EAKIN: Well, the question is, can he show some ideological flexibility, which he has not shown so far? He showed a little leg this week by rolling back a very expensive rule with the EPA. That was important.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that's true, that he hasn't shown flexibility, since he's -- he's sort of come completely to the Republican end of the debate?
HOLTZ-EAKIN: But what we've seen is again and again the same playbook, which is we want to focus on near-term stimulus. And if you look at measures, like the budget deficit, if the economy is at full employment, that's still rising in 2011. That playbook's been in place. It's not working. It didn't work in the '60s and '70s, when we used, again and again, to use stimulus to fine-tune the economy.
So he needs to go to a different playbook, which says we have to have a fundamental change toward a growth philosophy. We need to have some permanent changes, like a lower corporate rate, tax repatriations for our business community. And he actually does have to show some respect for the business community. He needs small, medium and large businesses not to be the target of sort of class warfare rhetoric, but to be the focus of his policies.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me turn to you, Jared Bernstein. You've come from the vice president's office. He's been saddled with this complaint for a long time, that he's not friendly enough to the business community. What does he have to do, in your opinion, to be more friendly? Or does he?
BERNSTEIN: I don't think he has to. I think the person Doug just described sounds very different than President Obama to me. And I think the business community outside of Washington and the lobbies that kind of go through the talking points recognize that.
I think what the president needs to do, much like Paul suggested, is put forth a plan that meets two broad criteria. First, it has to move the needle on unemployment, which has just been stuck at 9 percent, and that's unacceptably high. And I think the plan that he's putting forth, it's going to have payroll tax cuts in it, it's going to probably extend the unemployment insurance, it's going to have some fast-working infrastructure, perhaps working down the maintenance backlog at our public schools.