President Obama has spent a lot of time and political capital on the issue of long term deficit reduction. He made deficit reduction a top focus of the health care reform law. He create his own deficit reduction commission when Congress failed to create their own. When that failed he spend months talking about the importance of deficit reduction and trying to reach a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction with Congressional Republicans. Politically this deficit focus has entirely backfired on Obama. From Bloomberg:
The poll hands Obama new lows in each of the categories that measures his performance on the economy: only 36 percent of respondents approve of his efforts to create jobs, 30 percent approve of how he’s tackled the budget deficit and 39 percent approve of his handling of health care.
After all that time Obama spend working on the issue, after Obama repeatedly indicated he was the “adult” because he would turn his back on his own party’s core principles to get a deficit deal, the result has been less than a third of Americans approve of his handling of the issue. According to the poll Obama’s attempt to use deficit reduction to appeal to independents has been a total, abject failure: less than a quarter approve of his handling of the deficit while 67 percent disapprove. The more time Obama spends feeding tdeficit hysteria, the lower his approval on the issue has dropped.
At least part of the problem for Obama is that the whole time he was foolishly focused on deficit reduction, the American people wanted him focused on jobs. According to CNN/ORC, an overwhelming 65 percent think Washington should be more focused on jobs instead of the deficit, while only 29 percent think our political leaders should be more focused on the deficit.