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Does no jobs mean no deficit reduction?

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Evan Vucci/AP/File

(Read caption) President Barack Obama gestures after delivering a statement in the White House Rose Garden where in he urged Congress to pass a federal highway bill. Obama's leadership is key to reducing the deficit.

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Nope. Simplest reason why not: the deficit reduction we’re talking about is over the next ten years. The extra or at least more effective stimulus we’re talking about better come sooner.

Many of the same policies that contribute to the adverse longer-term fiscal outlook provide very little offsetting benefit to the near term. Getting our longer-term act together would give global investors, right now, more confidence in the security of Treasury bonds and help keep the cost of borrowing–for stimulus right now–low. So it seems the so-called “super committee” has no reason to shy away from its task of (another $1.5 trillion over ten years in) deficit reduction. There’s lots of opportunity for them to become “superheroes” in conquering both the near-term and the longer-term challenges facing our economy. And President Obama could encourage them by offering his own leadership on this issue–and let’s hope we hear some of that on Thursday. As “super” as they might be or might become, they can’t do it without his help.

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