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Unfinished Business After the Debt Deal

The public’s priorities are jobs, not cutting spending, and they want higher taxes on the wealthy to help lower the deficit, says Ruy Teixeira.

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There are many problems with the debt ceiling deal recently agreed to by Congress and signed into law. A big one is that it does nothing to help create jobs—in fact, it probably hurts job creation. And creating jobs, not cutting spending, is still the public’s number one priority.

This was confirmed by a CBS/New York Times poll conducted right after the bill was signed. By 62-29 the public said that creating jobs, not cutting government spending, should be the nation’s higher priority right now.

The bill also does nothing to raise revenue, without which the country’s ability to address problems and keep the level of debt under control will be hamstrung. The public has an idea here, too. By 63-34, they want to see taxes raised on those making $250,000 a year or more.

So policymakers’ work is not over. It’s hardly begun. Time for them to catch up to the public.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website. 

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

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Ruy Teixeira

Senior Fellow

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