Jobless Rate 9.1 Percent, When?

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There’s a lot of talk about what unemployment might look like on Election Day.

The Congressional Budget Office is talking about what it might look like after the election.

Next year, the CBO projected today, the nation’s jobless rate will average 9.1 percent.

That’s nearly a point higher than where it stood in May, 8.2 percent.

And it’s higher than what the Federal Reserve Bank forecasts for 2013: 7.5 percent.

The CBO figure isn’t something the White House will be promoting — the president is campaigning with a promise that things are getting better and will continue to do so.

Yet the CBO is saying something else that’s widely accepted:

The nonpartisan agency says the U.S. government risks a fiscal crisis unless it makes significant changes in tax and spending policies. Without changes, Bloomberg’s Brian Faler reports today, the CBO says the national debt will top the historical peaks reached after World War II within 15 years.

In 1946, government debt amounted to 109 percent of the economy.  This year, it’s projected to reach 70 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, up from 40 percent in 2008, according to the CBO.

That’s something that Obama’s rivals are happy to talk about.

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