A top White House economic aide said Monday more effort is needed to help the country out of the deepest recession in decades, and that pulling back government support prematurely could harm a fragile recovery.
"It is essential that policymakers continue to take steps to help generate private demand and growth," White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer said in remarks prepared for delivery in Cleveland.
Romer said that further spending and tax incentives President Barack Obama is seeking are focused on specific areas of the economy. More aid to state and local governments, for example, would be "incredibly helpful," she said.
Public opinion polls show many voters concerned about exploding federal budget deficits after emergency spending to counter the effects of the recession.
Romer said that while the administration aims to rein in deficits over the longer term, supporting the recovery should take priority over fiscal worries.
"It would be penny-wise and pound-foolish to try to deal with our long-run problem by tightening fiscal policy immediately or foregoing additional emergency spending to reduce unemployment," she said.
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