Though you would never know it listening to what passes for our political discourse (boldface mine):
I’m not entirely sure that’s what the election is about. It certainly wasn’t about the primacy of The Deficit among our various economic problems. Every time The American People get polled about the issues that are most important to them, including in the exit polling done in real-time during the election the president just cited, The Deficit finishes pretty far up the track behind unemployment and a generic category called The Economy. What becomes important is in what way is that generic category defined. The general public seems to think that The Economy is defined by how many people are working and how many people are not. The political elite, including the president, and the courtier press that services that elite, all seem to define the economy through the deficit. The cognitive dissonance in Washington is about how best to deal with an economy defined by the deficit. The cognitive dissonance in the country is about how best to deal with an economy that is being defined at the highest levels of the government in a way that the rest of the country finds odd and inadequate.
I mentioned this months ago, but no one cares about the deficit. Really, no one.