Following the “This Week” roundtable today, we asked our roundtable participants to expand on their discussion. Here are their views.
Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren:
First, and as an aside, imagine my amusement at being asked questions posed by ABC’s Jake Tapper, who has a reputation for knowing more about Washington and what is going on in the world than anyone else. As for asking questions, I have seen Jake grill the White House press secretary for answers and I wondered if we, the panel, would likewise be grilled. As always, Jake zeroed in on the important issues of the week.
Second, the time flies in TV. I know — and oh I had wished we had time for discussion about Sudan from where I recently returned. I heard Senator McCain talk to Jake about the Syrian refugee camp he recently visited where he saw about 25,000 people suffering and how disturbing it was to see. I thought, well, I will raise you — in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan where I just was, Sudan President Bashir is bombing his people and starving them. The the numbers are staggering — 300,000 to 1.2 million. I saw that and yes, it is very disturbing. The people are desperately trying to get to the refugee camp just over the border in South Sudan but they have to dodge bombs from their own president — and their president’s soldiers on the ground are killing them and burning their villages. Plus, there are other issues in Sudan to discuss: the Chinese are pouring money into the region (we are not) and of course the Sudan (not to be confused with the South Sudan) was at one time harboring Osama bin Laden and … and, of course, the area is rich in oil, which ignites all sorts of issues.
Former Obama economic adviser and ABC News consultant Austan Goolsbee:
We talked about the job numbers only briefly on the roundtable. To me, two things stick out from recent months.
One, despite the overall mediocre report for the month, the private sector recovery over the last years is quite apparent. Not only is job growth sustained and somewhat robust in the private sector, this is with close to zero help from the housing sector which is normally a third or so of an expansion. That’s the good news.
Two, the overall labor market is still deeply wounded. And the overall growth rate of the economy is not high enough to turn it around in rapid order. But averaged over the last six months you can also see that it’s not bad either. that in-between space feels like it forebodes a close, close race in November. It’s interesting that among the top ten states for drops in unemployment rates in the last year include Michigan, Florida, Ohio and Nevada so it will be interesting to see whether people measure the trend by how they see things locally or how they see things nationally.