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In polling done by Gallup in August, 31 percent of the electorate approved of President Obama's handling of the federal budget deficit and 64 percent disapproved, which was Obama's second-lowest rating out of 13 issues polled. Congress hasn't fared much better, even though 70 percent of those polled by the Pew Research Center in July thought that it was "very important" for Congress to pass legislation to reduce the deficit. To most voters, it's not a question of if—but of when, where, and how much.
The recent draft proposals from the chairmen of the National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also known as the president's deficit-reduction commission, brought a noticeable silence from both Republicans and the White House. If they were smart, chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson would view this as an opportunity to launch a public education campaign and start speaking out about the depth of the problem facing us and the importance of taking carefully considered, bipartisan action to put America back on the road to fiscal responsibility. Here's what they should do: