What’s more important jobs or debt?

Training for the perfect job Pictures, Images and Photos All of the talk in the U.S. right now whether it’s political or economic/business news is about either jobs or the national debt. The debt is about 100% of GDP at roughly $14 trillion. This is not good. Unemployment is a touch over 9% and with underemployment it’s even higher. This is not good either. When discussing policy, people are talking about the debt limit and also about creating jobs. However, they often look at the two issues as completely separate and as an either/or type of choice. The reality is that this is flawed thinking.

If you look at the times when the U.S. was paying down their debt, the unemployment rate also went down. The most recent time this occurred was under President Clinton. Simple math supports this notion. If more people are employed with good jobs then more people will pay tax. This tax is much needed revenue for the government which will pay for social programs and the debt. Simply cutting spending or raising taxes will not get the job done. A combination of the two might, but it will also affect the quality of life for people. The best way to pay down the debt is to have policies that encourage job creation.

Perhaps tax cuts specifically for business like the payroll tax cut that is now being mentioned could help the goal of creating jobs. Perhaps spending on skills training for unemployed people could also help if done properly. Regardless of the plan, it should be large enough to make a meaningful dent in the unemployment rate. This is what will pay the debt, improve the economy and quality of life. Politicians and the media should stop looking at debt and jobs as two separate issues. They go hand in hand and it begins with jobs.