"Is it the Economy, Stupid?"

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With concerns over homeland security and stability in Iraq, is the economy still the issue, which will decide next year's election? The answer is yes according to David Wessel, the Wall Street Journal's Deputy Washington Bureau Chief.

Wessel told the area business roundtable Wednesday that Pres. Bush's re-election will depend on the nation's economic health, not on what happens in Iraq and the Middle East.

"There are always other issues, but the economy is always the predominant one. A commentator remarked the other day that Bush could do well with a good economy and a bad Iraq, but not with a bad economy and a good Iraq. So, I think the economy's very important," says Wessel.

Wessel also told the gathering that America needs to focus more on our economic system in the next 20 years, not just in the short term. While much about our economic future is unknown, there are issues such as education that will have as much importance in the years to come as now.

Wessel, who also does commentary CNBC, says the economy has stayed strong during a lot of shock waves in the past year, not just Sept. 11, but also the corporate accounting scandals.