In recent weeks, economists have been worrying about the negative impact of the now-ended government shutdown and potential debt crisis.
But away from Capitol Hill, the economy has been getting a big boost: Gasoline prices have been declining, week after week. In some parts of the country, a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is now down to less than $3 a gallon — a price most Americans haven't seen in three years.
And any time the pump price starts dropping, consumer spirits start rising.
The twin fiscal crises resolved late Wednesday night were born in the slow days of summer — not anywhere in the Capitol, where the drama played out, but in the offices of Heritage Action, a conservative activist group that wanted to end funding for the president's health care law. With the help of an ambitious new Texas senator, the group staged a series of town hall-style meetings around the country, and the Defund Obamacare movement was born.
As the government reopened Thursday morning, President Obama had a simple message for its workers: Thank you. For Congress he had another message: Let's not do this again. Obama tried to rise above the fracas of the past few weeks and talk about his view on the role of government.
Yesterday Congress brought the country back from the brink of defaulting on its debt. Host Michel Martin talks to Joe Davidson of The Washington Post about how federal workers will bring the government back to life.