Obama Pushes Economic Plan, Skepticism Abounds

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WASHINGTON -- The president is touring the Midwest trying to convince voters his economic policies are working.

But with unemployment near 10 percent, many Americans still have their doubts.

The Growing Unemployment Line

A line of hopeful job seekers set up shop on the streets of New York this week, trying to get their hands on one of the 750 applications printed for about 100 positions.

Some of them camped out for days for a chance to apply to the city's elevator repair apprentice program.

"The economy now is so hard to find people hiring, that four nights on a street, it could be worth it," job applicant Jesse Freeman said.

It's against this backdrop that Obama begins making his pitch that his administration is putting Americans back to work.

However, 15 million people are still without jobs and with unemployment expected to stay close to 10 percent for the rest of the year, the public is growing increasingly skeptical.

That's bad news for the Democratic Party in this midterm election year.

Jobs and the economy remain the top concerns for voters, putting the GOP in position to make big gains this November.

Monster Deficit

Another major political issue: the huge federal deficit.

"The spending, the borrowing, the debt that we're incurring as a nation is a direct result of over 500 congressman and senators coming here believing it is their job to take money home to their states and congressional districts," Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. said. "That is what is driving the out of control spending and debt."

Meanwhile, the president has created a bipartisan commission to recommend ways to make cuts to guarantee that the economy will continue to grow. The commission will hold their first meeting on Tuesday.

One of the co-chairs says economic growth alone won't solve the nation's economic woes.

"We could have double growth for 30 years and still not grow our way out of this," said former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., a co-chairman of the debt commission.

But with few politically popular options - like raising taxes or cutting social security or Medicare - the commission knows getting out of this mess will be much harder than getting into it.

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