THE BLOG
02/03/2013 11:30 pm ET Updated Apr 05, 2013

A Super Bowl Lesson for Congress?

Unlike some previous years, including last year's controversial Clint Eastwood commercial, Sunday's Super Bowl made it through halftime without controversy. And having watched an imaginative Beyonce show and an inspirational Chrysler tribute to the armed forces, America sat down for the final 30 minutes of football... only for the game to be disrupted by a sudden power outage.

The outage did much more than turn off half the stadium's lights and cause a 34 minutes delay. It also provided for a dramatic shift in game's momentum.

After dominating the San Francisco 49ers and cruising to a comfortable 22 point lead -- an historically insurmountable Super Bowl gap -- the Baltimore Ravens dramatically lost momentum and control of the game.

They gave up a quick 17 straight points. They even allowed the 49ers to get within 2 points. And, with less than 2 minutes to go, they were on the verge of losing the game.

Unfortunately, this sequence -- of positive momentum, a sudden negative shock, and a subsequent sapping of growth energy -- has been a too-familiar one for the U.S. economy in recent years. Indeed, many economists feel that the U.S. still faces such a risk today.

Gradual job creation and a recovering housing sector are contributing to steady economic healing and providing for a better tone and momentum. But the improvements are not yet strong enough for a definitive breakout from years of unusually sluggish growth, persistently high unemployment and increasing income and wealth inequalities.

It is important for the economy to gain stronger economic momentum; and, therefore, it is critical that Congress avoid causing a partial power outage.

To minimize a potential spoiler role, Congress needs to find a way to overcome its rolling fiscal crises. By doing so, it would also be in a much better position to cooperate with the Administration to increase jobs, to improve infrastructure and education, and to address housing finance problems.

What about the game? Well, the Ravens did manage to just -- and I mean just -- hang on. And by winning the Super Bowl in a dramatic fashion, they also avoided going down in history as owners of the biggest Super Bowl collapse of all time (the record for the biggest blown lead remains at 10 points).

Given its incredible innovation and entrepreneurship, the U.S. economy could also eventually overcome another sudden power outage caused by Congress. But rather than create unnecessary damage and tensions, wouldn't it be better form Congress to pivot from disruptor to enabler?

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