For most of the past three years, the entire city of Washington has been obsessed with reducing the federal budget deficit. While a concern over projected red ink may have been warranted in the past, the quest for an elusive “grand bargain” on the deficit has crowded out discussions of other pressing economic concerns.
Fortunately, over the past several weeks and months, it appears that change is afoot. With deficit projections dramatically improved but unemployment still stuck above 7 percent and middle-class families still struggling to get by, President Barack Obama is rightfully pushing lawmakers in Washington to turn their attention to what should have been their primary task all along: economic growth and job creation. To that end, last week the president called for a new kind of grand bargain—one that seeks to break the political logjam and foster actions to strengthen the middle class and create jobs now.
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