In the last monthly jobs report, the real jobless rate was almost 14 percent, which is a national tragedy. That tragedy will probably not materially improve in the next monthly report, scheduled as of now to be released Tuesday morning.

Austerity with high joblessness is economic poison. Deficit cuts that phase in over time should be approved; job programs should be effective immediately. The original Simpson-Bowles group fully understood the need for short-term job programs tied to medium- and long-term deficit reduction. 

They were right then; this is right now. A bipartisan debt deal should include a substantial program to create jobs by rebuilding America's infrastructure of roads, ports, schools and rail. Many Republican governors support a major infrastructure rebuild. Many Republican-friendly business leaders support a major infrastructure rebuild, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

The mantra of the budget reduction talks should be deficit reduction, yes; jobs now.