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What's the bigger problem: the ongoing unemployment crisis :or the federal deficit?

What's the bigger problem: the ongoing unemployment crisis--which has claimed nearly 9 million jobs during the Great Recession--or the federal deficit, projected to grow to $1.65 trillion this year?

The debate in Washington would suggest the latter. Although economists largely agree that cutting spending costs jobs, the argument right now is over how much to cut.

The Beltway media seems to share that focus. A quick search of Politico.com shows that since the start of February, the word "deficit" has appeared 52 times, and "unemployment" just 17. (Rough synonyms present an even starker picture: "Debt" has appeared 42 times, "joblessness" just twice.)

A search of the WashingtonPost.com tells a similar story. In the last 60 days, the frequency of hits for "deficit" is nearly double that for "unemployment": 1,155 to 650. And "debt" beats out "joblessness" by a whopping 1,015 to 35.

And yet, even as weekly jobless claims dropped today to a three-year low, ordinary people seem to feel differently. Thirty-seven percent of respondents to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll named jobs as the top issue the federal government should address, while only 22 percent name the deficit and government spending. Those numbers jibe with other recent poll results.

Of course, public opinion isn't the be-all end-all for policy. If it were, we'd spend lavishly and keep lowering taxes, which obviously isn't going to work. But in this case, the public's views barely seem to be registering at all.

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 11:22 AM on Mar. 3, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (33)
  • Why don't you tell us.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:23 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • They're linked, one effects the other.
    CraftingMama

    Answer by CraftingMama at 11:23 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • I don't think it's either/or. One contributes to the other, like a snake eating its own tail.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:24 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • I didn't think Obama supporters cared about either one.
    jewjewbee

    Answer by jewjewbee at 11:24 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • UE...the more who are or become affected, the more likely the deficit will grow. Obviously, the people fund government which affects the deficit-No jobs, no revenue= no payment.

    Sisteract

    Answer by Sisteract at 11:26 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  •  


    UE...the more who are or become affected, the more likely the deficit will grow. Obviously, the people fund government which affects the deficit-No jobs, no revenue= no payment.


    Exactly, for the snide remarks....we KNOW one feeds the other..so fixing UE should be the priority, no??



    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 11:27 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • According to the report issued today unemployment is down. Oh wait, is this all skewed? Me thinks so. That does not include the people who have come off the unemployment rolls or are under employed. But to answer your question unemployment is the larger problem. If people are not working then they do not spend. They also do not pay taxes. That means less money in the economy to run schools, fire depts, and other programs.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:36 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • I think the number that is down are for new applications....

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 11:38 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • Jobs is the bigger and more immediate issue.
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 11:40 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • ..so fixing UE should be the priority, no??


     --


     http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/content/news/2008/10/21/webobama1.html


    should be No.1


    evidently some " unexpected " events diverted Obama


     

    jewjewbee

    Answer by jewjewbee at 11:48 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

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