In Washington, talks center around whether and under what conditions lawmakers should raise the nation's debt ceiling. Elsewhere, though, Americans find themselves more preoccupied with the state of the broader economy and, more specifically, jobs.According to a late-June poll by CBS/New York Times, 53 percent of those surveyed said that the economy or jobs was the most important problem facing America today. Only 7 percent said the budget deficit.The results reinforce sentiments shared elsewhere, specifically that Americans consider jobs a more immediate priority when compared to deficit reduction. Take another recent poll by Bloomberg that found 42 percent of Americans said they are most worried about job creation. Just 13 percent of respondents said federal deficit.
Read the rest at The Huffington Post, U.S. Jobs, Economy Largely Considered Country's Most Pressing Issues: Poll
The focus on deficit reduction was a brilliantly conceived and executed plan by the GOP to distract the president from doing what is necessary to create jobs and get the country out of recession. The president walked right into the trap by trying to triangulate through the appointment of a "bipartisa" deficit commission composed of Very Serious People, most of whom know nothing about macroeconomics and are mistaken about what they think they know as well.
As also Edward Harrison of Credit Writedown's throught-provoking post, Is the deficit ceiling debate a Smoot-Hawley moment?
So, if the US defaults, who gets the blame? Recent polls show 71% shun GOP handling of the debt crisis. Default will be blamed on Republicans. No default and a weak economy will be blamed on Obama and the Democrats. Either way, the risk of a serous fall in output from overly large cuts is there. If I had to make parallels, I still say this is Hoover’s time, not Roosevelt’s and certainly not Clinton’s.