Jon Haveman of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute urges Congress to forget about the debt crisis for now and increase stimulus spending to spur growth.
His outlook is bleak.
"It's really going to take a long time before consumers get back to normal," Haveman said. "It's going to take a long time where unemployment recovers to levels below the recession. We're going to be in this for some time to come."
Haveman fears the economy won't rebound to where it was five years ago until at least 2015. Haveman also says a more realistic outlook takes the recovery to 2018.
he says the Bay Area is a bright spot with sustained growth, especially in the high tech sector in the San Jose area.