As several recent surveys make clear, concern about deficits and debt is rising sharply. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey conducted in early May showed that the share of individuals rating “the deficit and government spending” as the top priority for the federal government to address has jumped since January from 13 to 20 percent—second only to job creation and economic growth. According to Gallup, “federal government debt” now ties with terrorism for the top spot in perceived threats to our future well-being.
"Let me begin," says White House aide David Dreyer, "by contesting the premises of your question." It's a windless evening in November, and Dreyer is in his West Wing office, listening to a new recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and defending the role of Tony Coelho, for whom Dreyer once worked, in the Democrats' electoral debacle. "First," he says, "Tony was not the party chair. He was never, to my knowledge, actually in the dnc building. Second, the role of party chair in a midterm election is relatively unimportant anyhow.