Many politicians claim to be focused on jobs, jobs, jobs, but as the U.S. economy continues to struggle, meaningful governmental action to boost employment remains thwarted by a more pervasive obsession in Washington: deficits, deficits, deficits. In the tug-of-war between proponents of public investment to strengthen the economy and deficit hawks, those preoccupied with budget short-falls are having little difficulty pulling the rope in their direction. Federal balance sheets can be complex and less than scintillating to average citizens. As a consequence, media coverage of deficits tends to be dominated by alarm-ism. It is much easier to capture the attention of viewers and readers by scaring them with tales of leaving our children with a bankrupt government under the control of China than to walk them through the potential trade-offs connected to different scenarios. This Century Foundation Reality Check focuses on correcting commonly repeated but misleading claims related to federal deficits, aided by straightforward figures and tables that anyone can understand. Download report.