Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The tremendous outcry in Washington against President Obama’s tax compromise with Republicans is just the latest example of partisanship standing in the way of reviving the U.S. economy.

The outcry against the deficit reduction plan unveiled by North Carolina’s Erskine Bowles spoke volumes as well.

When will self interest and ideology give way to common sense solutions? Never, perhaps. So our country’s future remains at risk.

Yet the American public says in a new poll that Job 1 in Washington (and by extension, in Raleigh) should be job creation.

A new poll out Wednesday from The National Journal and Allstate as part of their Heartland Monitor series is being discussed Thursday morning at N.C. State – and here’s one of the key findings:

“Americans want leaders in Washington to work together, and they place a greater
priority on investment for job creation than on deficit reduction.”

Yes, Americans are concerned about the rise of China, as we reported Wednesday. But putting food on the table right now is a must as unemployment nears 10 percent and talk of a “new normal” focuses on persistent high unemployment. Even if jobless benefits are extended, that money doesn’t replace full-time work.

Ahead of Republicans taking charge in the House of Representatives and adding strength in the Senate in January, those people polled spelled out these priorities:

• 70 percent prefer compromise to find solutions

• 25 percent want Republicans to pursue their own agenda, including repeal of the health care bill

Here are the priorities in the poll:

• 28 percent want new spending on infrastructure, research and education in order to drive job growth

• 22 percent want new tax cuts

• 19 percent want the healthcare bill repealed or changed

• 13 percent want all the Bush administration tax cuts extended

• 11 percent want the federal deficit addressed

The closeness of these top priorities hardly points to a mandate for one over the others. In fact, tax cuts adds up to more than the jobs-directed spending.

But what are the benefits of tax cuts? More money in people’s pockets, more money for corporations – and hopefully more money for job creation.

Let’s hope the message gets through – Find some way to create jobs.

(Read about today’s event and the Heartland poll here.)

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