November 17th, 2009
11:02 AM ET

Obama should focus on jobs, not deficit

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.getty.rahm.emanuel.jpg caption="Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is pushing for spending cuts if Congress raises taxes"]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

Regardless of the outcome of the health care reform effort, the difficult issue of cutting the federal budget deficit is likely to move front and center in 2010.

The size of the deficit is causing great concern in Washington. While most economists say the deficit should normally hover at around 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, it has now reached almost 10 percent. With each piece of positive economic news, such as the recent fall in unemployment claims, pressure will grow to shrink the deficit.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House is considering using some unspent TARP money for debt reduction while Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is pushing for spending cuts if Congress raises taxes.

In next year's State of the Union address, the president is planning to focus on deficit reduction as a priority above programs to create jobs, according to Politico. Apart from any worry the administration might have about the economic dangers of large deficits, the Democrats are concerned that the issue troubles many independent voters who would be crucial to limiting the number of Republican victories in the midterm elections a year from now.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • President Barack Obama
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tim Gibson

    It will be most interesting to see where the feet are placed for 2010 and the midterm elections as well as the extent that will be untaken to hide truth while pushing from behind closed doors for deals that will have great unfavor by the people.

    November 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm |

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