While members of Congress are focused on a short-term budget deal, true economic reform requires exercising political leadership and tackling long-term problems to boost the economy.
That was the point made Friday by Sheila Bair, the former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, at an Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll event on the financial system at the Newseum in Washington.
"The answer really is with the president and the Congress, and the fact that they can't even find a budget "¦ is quite compelling," said Bair, who headed the FDIC from 2006-2011. "In the near term, we shouldn't look to Washington. Some state governments are doing better on their own."
In the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, congressional approval hit single digits, while 38 percent approved of President Obama.
"The only part of government that is listening to the people is the NSA," said Sanjay Gupta, the executive vice president for marketing, innovation, and corporate relations at Allstate.
Gupta noted that more than 60 percent said they believed the current budget battle would have a negative impact on their individual financial situation.
The current political situation is "becoming a tremendous drag on economic recovery," he said.