Anger turns to anxiety in debt crisis
Even so, White House economist Austan Goolsbee told The Associated Press on his last day on the job Friday that "the focus has got to be on getting the growth rate up ... not arguing over things like the debt ceiling where it's just absolutism and dysfunction."
So for Obama these days, it's all jobs, jobs, jobs.
On Friday, he went to Washington's Navy Yard to announce a plan to spur the hiring of veterans. He visits a battery factory in Holland, Mich., on Thursday to talk about the economy, and plans a jobs-oriented bus tour of the Midwest from Aug. 15-17.
He has challenged Congress to act next month on stalled measures he claims will help the economy and job-creation, including extending the Social Security payroll tax break, investing in infrastructure and extending unemployment insurance.
Obama also made jobs the subjects of Saturday's weekly radio and online address.
After Friday's jobs report, Obama said his "singular focus" is now getting the unemployed back to work and helping families and communities recover "from the worse recession that any of us have ever seen."
Looking back at the debt-limit debate, Obama said the compromise was "important in terms of putting us on sounder fiscal footing," but he conceded that the "process was divisive. It was delayed."
A Pew Research Center survey found the debt-limit debate was viewed dimly throughout the country. According to Pew, 72 percent of poll respondents described the negotiations in negative terms, using words such as "disgusting," ''ridiculous" and "stupid."
"Throughout the whole year, the public has been more concerned about the jobs situation and prices than they have been about the budget deficit. They want to understand what the government's going to do in that regard, and they haven't seen it," said Pew Associate Director Michael Dimock,
Many economists say the chances of a new recession have increased markedly.
Calling the economy "balanced on the edge," Harvard's Martin Feldstein, who was chairman of President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers, puts chances of a new recession at 50 percent.
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