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Pelosi: Jobs More Important Than Deficit

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that the need to spend more money on job creation should outweigh concerns about adding to the exploding deficit.

“I think if anybody is asking the public, ‘Would you rather have a job or a percentage of GDP of our national debt will go up a little bit,’ I think that everybody wants a job,— Pelosi said during a conference call with economic reporters and bloggers.

Pelosi said she has long supported pay-as-you-go principles and called it “a false choice— to have to pick between deficit reduction and job creation.

“We are never going to reduce the deficit unless we create jobs,— she said. “We have to shed any weakness that anybody may have about not wanting to be confrontational on this subject for fear that we’d be labeled not sensitive to the deficit.—

Democrats in both chambers are currently working on jobs packages; the House is hoping to pass a bill this year, while the Senate wants to have its package ready to go by early next year.

Looking ahead to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in January, Pelosi said she hoped the president would strike a balance between the need for job growth and deficit reduction.

“The American people have an anger about the growth of the deficit because they’re not getting anything for it,— said Pelosi, pointing to Goldman Sachs — one of the financial investment firms bailed out with billions in tax dollars — giving out nearly $17 billion in 2009 bonuses.

“Something is very wrong with this picture,— she added. “So if somebody has the idea that the percentage of GDP of what our national debt is will go up a bit, but they … and their neighbors and their children will have jobs, I think they could absorb that.—

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