The Economy, Gulf Oil Spill

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A weak economy in America, coupled with a growing federal deficit and government dependence, remained a top concern in 2010. Unemployment reached a record low, while billions of dollars in government spending continued to pile up.

Adding to the ongoing economic woes, BP's oil disaster in the Gulf Coast virtually shut down the region's fishing industry for months, making an already fragile economic situation there even more difficult.

President Barack Obama's response to the disaster and his plan for the economy left many Americans frustrated and concerned that the country was following a slippery slope into socialism. The economic situation gave ammunition to the GOP and Tea Party contenders during the midterm elections.

But there have been glimmers of hope, including some spurts of job growth throughout the year. And a small business bill passed by Congress is also expected to free up funds for private businesses, even as jobless benefits were extended for those still unemployed.

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