Forget The Deficit, It's Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS'

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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Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.
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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.