Pessimism in the Economy
The latest Associated Press – GfK poll measuring Americans’ opinion on the economy revealed a negative outlook. Less than 1 in 3 Americans believe that their household’s finances will improve this year, and thirty-five percent believe that the unemployment rate will begin to rise in the coming months.
The unemployment rate, remaining steady at 8.1 percent (around 12.5 million Americans), has actually slowly dropped due to a large portion of those looking for work giving up. Meanwhile 18 percent of Americans foresee a worsening of their household’s finances, and only 20 percent of the public called the economy “good.” Realizing that Washington—Congress specifically—would need to act in order to improve the situation, many top business executives and CEOs have begun courting lawmakers.
The relationship between the two groups has always been important since many of the top executives are responsible for the private sector’s expansion. Now, with the economy and country headed south though, many from the private sector have elected to join the discussion and push Congress to pass meaningful deficit reduction plans, maintain tax cuts, and put in place a long term plan for the national debt. The display conveys the need for real action on spending in Washington, or as Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s President Maya MacGuineas said it: “an acknowledgement of the political reality that to get something done everyone is going to have to come together and get out of their boxes.”
While the above poll and involvement from the private sector highlight the need for action on the deficit and debt, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad has already stated that no budget will be passed from his committee this year, making it now three years since the Senate has fulfilled their Constitutional duty to pass a budget. While the Senate does nothing, expiring tax cuts edge closer, the debt and deficit rise, and 8.1 percent of America is without work – and politics is the only reason.