Steven Pearlstein
The Washington Post 

“This may come as something of a surprise,’’ but there’s good reason to be optimistic about the U.S. economy, said Steven Pearlstein. Unemployment is dropping and home construction is finally perking up, but I’m even more heartened that our economy is finally undertaking the structural reforms that will allow a robust recovery to take hold. Our financial sector seems to have finally accepted that it is too big and too risky; banks are shrinking their balance sheets, shedding employees, and off-loading riskier activities. A badly needed, revolutionary reform of the health-care system has begun, with Obamacare, insurers, and hospitals moving to “accountable care,’’ where doctors are paid on salary to make people well, instead of for providing treatments. That would finally restrain costs. This restructuring momentum even gives me hope that we might soon see progress on “the granddaddy of structural problems”—the federal budget deficit. At the same time, economic problems in China, India, and Europe are pushing foreign investments back our way. We could be just “one budget deal away from restoring” our global economic dominance.