The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - The deficit on international trade in goods and services was $40.6 billion in December, up from $38.3 billion in November and $27.1 billion in mid 2009, when the economic recovery began, the Commerce Department reported Friday. This rising deficit subtracts from demand for U.S. goods and services, just as stimulus spending and additional temporary tax cuts add to it. The deficit is slowing the recovery and jobs creation, and the Obama Administration and Republicans in Congress have not offered a credible policy to significantly change it.