WASHINGTON (2/23/10)--CNN political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen offered a wide-ranging analysis of national politics Monday, within which he backed increase member business lending authority for credit unions as one way to stimulate the economy. Addressing the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference meeting here this week, Gergen also said of credit unions, “(They) stand for thrift and discipline, and for the small-business person trying to get a loan. “You represent the spirit of people trying to do things for the country.” These are the values the country needs to get out of “this funk we’re in,” Gergen said. On another topic straight for today’s headlines, Gergen talked about jobs creations. He said the United States at one time was the great American job machine. The Clinton administration created 23 million jobs during its eight years. But since 1999 the country has “flat-lined on job creation.” The jobs problem can be solved only by becoming a more innovative and educated nation, he said. “We can’t borrow or spend or regulate our way out of it. We need jobs in the private sector.” Throughout most of the 20th century, the United States was the most educated nation in the world, but now it’s number 20 in the world in the number of high school graduates as a percent of the population. “We have to get our kids back to school.” To stay on the cutting edge, schools must emphasize science, math, and engineering—core competencies for the 21st century, Gergen opined. “We have it within us to be the most creative, entrepreneurial people in the world. It’s in our DNA.” Gergen’s Washington, D.C. experience includes posts in the Nixon and Ford administrations, as well as service as director of communications for the Reagan White House, and counselor to President William Clinton on foreign policy and domestic affairs.