In the run up to the US midterm elections, political opponents have fought pitched battles over who is to blame for rising unemployment.
The economy will be one of the major issues on voters' minds as they head to the polls on Tuesday, and it could contribute to a shift in power in Washington.
In Obama's home town of Chicago, the local government's budget crisis reflects the country's wider economic problems.
Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna explains.
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