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Hey Policymakers, Don’t Forget about Jobs!

You’d think the only important issues in the country today were raising the debt limit and cutting the deficit if you only paid attention to the fights in Congress. Not so.

For most Americans the most important issues are still the economy and jobs. In a late June CBS/New York Times poll, 53 percent said the economy/jobs was the most important problem facing the country today, compared to just 7 percent who said the deficit/debt was most important.

What’s more, 62 percent thought reducing unemployment was more important than reducing the deficit in a just-released Quinnipiac University poll, compared to just 32 percent who thought reducing the deficit was more important.

Wake up, policymakers! We’ve got 9.2 percent unemployment, and the public isn’t interested in endless disputes about how much and how fast to cut the deficit. They’re interested in jobs. How about attacking that problem with as much urgency as the deficit? 

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.