During Obama’s inauguration speech, he effectively ignored the issue of deficit reduction and didn’t have much to say about reviving economic growth. He did, however, discuss spending more on infrastructure and addressing global warming. Though he made only a passing allusion to gun control in his actual inaugural, he made a high profile speech this month to unveil a proposal addressing the issue.
So how does this stack up against the actual priorities of the American public? Unsurprisingly, according to Pew, the economy (86 percent) and jobs (79 percent) are still top concerns. But what might be a bit more surprising is what comes next: deficit reduction. For all the talk that the public doesn’t care about deficits, 72 percent consider it a top issue, up from 53 percent in January 2009 when Obama took office. More Americans consider the deficit a top priority than at any time since Pew began asking the question in 1994. Meanwhile, three of the bottom four priorities on the list were stronger gun control (37 percent), improving infrastructure (30 percent) and addressing global warming (28 percent).