A White House economic adviser says it would be "suicide" for the government to focus exclusively on the deficit when the economy is sorely in need of jobs.
Christina Romer says money freed up from the repayment of financial bailout funds gives the government the leeway to boost try to employment while seeking to control the deficit over the longer term.
She says "no one is talking about raising taxes" during a recession to pay for the proposed new stimulus plan.
Romer, who heads the White House Council of Economic Advisers, was asked Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether the recession was over, She said it might be over in official terms, but that it's not truly over until unemployment goes back down to normal levels, in the range of 5 percent.
The jobless rate now is 10 percent.