This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS' MoneyWatch.com.
President Obama will propose a $3.8 trillion budget today, which will lead to a $1.6 trillion deficit, which would be an all-time record and $200 billion higher than the 2009 number. Before you go all apoplectic about the numbers, the White House will attempt to calm us - the projected deficit will drop to $700 billion by 2013, due to an economic recovery which will increase tax receipts.
The President will follow up his SOTU promise of a jobs bill–some $33 billion will be allocated to the endeavor. I hate to be nit-picky, but $33 billion isn't enough to stimulate jobs in an economy of our size. The jobs bill seems more like a marketing pivot, than a policy one.
It can't be said enough, the labor situation will guide the nation's economy. With unemployment at 10% (over 17% if you include the "marginally attached" population), the hyper-focus on the deficit seems misplaced. Forget the deficit for now and focus on jobs. If we get people back to work, then tax receipts will really soar - that will be an excellent cure for the deficit woes.
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