The national debt is more than $11 trillion, and the deficit for the current fiscal year is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to be almost $1 trillion. The country’s debtors are increasingly anxious about the ability of the U.S. government to pay its debt with interest, and bond buyers have been driving up yields on long-term notes, making it more expensive for the Treasury to raise money.
Meeting with his Cabinet, the president on Monday gave a mixed review of the economy so far, stating that May job losses of 345,000 announced Friday were not as bad as expected but “still far too many.” He also said that the United States is “still in the middle of a very deep recession, which is going to take a considerable amount of time to pull out of.”
It was a different message from the one Mr. Obama offered at the end of May, when he cited the stock market’s stabilization and other indicators as evidence that the economy had “stepped back from the brink.”
Mr. Obama hit back at his critics Monday.
“There’s some who, despite all evidence to the contrary, still don’t believe in the necessity and promise of this recovery act,” he said. “Tell that to the Americans who received that unexpected call saying to come back to work.”