WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering all options to create jobs, including another stimulus package, while trying to pull the economy out of a deep recession and deal with a record deficit, White House advisers said Sunday.
With more than half of the $787 billion recovery package yet to be spent, Obama aides said the administration is not ready to commit to additional measures.
"Everything is on the table," senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said.
"You've got this huge national deficit and we've got to do what we can to bring that down. At the same time, it's important to stimulate the economy," Jarrett said. "Let's wait and see. Let's let the recovery bill do its job."
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Unemployment stands at 9.8 percent, with more than 4 million jobs lost this year. The deficit has reached $1.4 trillion, and the national debt $11.9 trillion.
Adviser David Axelrod cited progress on reviving the economy, with expectations for growth in the third quarter this year. But he warned that the government should not make the mistake of ending its recovery initiatives too early at the risk of sending the economy back into recession.
"That doesn't mean that we don't look to the mid- and long-term for deficit reduction," Axelrod said. "We have a stimulus program in place, an economic recovery program in place, that is not even 50 percent through. We have to see that through. And we'll see what other measures we need to take."
In appearances on the Sunday news programs, the advisers criticized those Wall Street firms that are paying huge amounts in compensation and benefits after accepting taxpayer assistance. Goldman Sachs, for example, has said it has set aside $16.7 billion for compensation so far this year, more than $500,000 per employee. Citigroup is paying $5.3 billion in bonuses to its employees, and Bank of America $3.3 billion.