- Brazil’s president is nearly done sending to Congress his comprehensive package of social security, labor, tax, fiscal and political reforms
- Mr. Temer’s winning streak in the legislature is likely to continue as his loyalists have been elected to key leadership posts there
- The timing is now or never for Brazil to enact measures to heal its economy
- If the president can bring forward his reform measures by July, his prospects are good for serving till the end of his term in 2018
This year gives Brazil another opportunity to pull out of a recession that has lasted nearly three years and overcome the fiscal chaos that has gripped its federal and state governments. If the government succeeds, economic growth may resume, at a moderate pace in 2017 and more vigorously afterward. If it fails, the country will face more serious problems.
President Michel Temer, the former vice president who took office when President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in April of 2016, has set an ambitious agenda for his 31 months in power. He has already sent, or will soon send, proposals to Congress for social security, labor, tax, fiscal and political reforms. Most of these measures are unpopular and will very probably bring protesters into the streets; Mr. Temer’s public approval ratings are already as low as Ms. Rousseff’s in her last days. However, unlike his predecessor, President Temer has so far been able to win key votes in Congress by impressive margins, with an average of 80 percent support.