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 by Anonymous at 11:23 AM on Mar. 3, 2011
Answer by CraftingMama at 11:23 AM on Mar. 3, 2011
Answer by gdiamante at 11:24 AM on Mar. 3, 2011
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.
Answer by Sisteract at 11:26 AM on Mar. 3, 2011
Answer by Anonymous at 11:36 AM on Mar. 3, 2011
Answer by adnilm at 11:40 AM on Mar. 3, 2011
..so fixing UE should be the priority, no??
should be No.1
evidently some " unexpected " events diverted Obama
Answer by jewjewbee at 11:48 AM on Mar. 3, 2011
Next question overall
(Money & Work)
If you're getting a tax return back, how are you spending it?