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Tackling joblessness vs federal debt

Business Times - 10 Dec 2009


Tackling joblessness vs federal debt

Obama has to decide which is his administration's main priority in the coming months

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

FACING public discontent over continuing high unemployment, which stands now around 10 per cent, US President Barack Obama is now trying to demonstrate his commitment to tackling the problem that could endanger Democratic control of Congress if economically distressed Americans decide to vote for Republicans in the midterm elections next year.

Touting the success of his stimulus and economic recovery efforts, Mr Obama laid out what sounded like a new stimulus-style jobs programme. Speaking at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based liberal think tank on Tuesday, Mr Obama proposed a set of new ideas, including tax cuts for small business, new infrastructure spending on highways and rail, and a so-called 'cash for caulkers' programme that would give rebates to people who retrofit or …