Jobs Deficit: Austerity Politics Threatens Economy

Jobs Deficit: Austerity Politics Threatens Economy

Posted: 01/30/2013 1:25 pm EST  |  Updated: 01/30/2013 1:46 pm EST

Obama AusterityWASHINGTON — Lawmakers were stunned Wednesday to learn that the U.S. economy officially dove toward a double-dip recession at the end of 2012, contracting for the first time in three and a half years amid steep declines in government spending and sluggish exports.

Policymakers were similarly stunned in Europe when reductions in government spending led to continued economic malaise, leading top economists there to question the logic behind austerity recommendations. European austerity programs are a major driver of the slowdown in U.S. exports, and several economists have argued that reductions in government spending, here and abroad, are almost solely responsible for the suddenly tanking economy. Continue reading “Jobs Deficit: Austerity Politics Threatens Economy”

Congress Sets Stage for Second Budget Showdown

On Jan. 23, the House of Representatives sidestepped a battle over the debt ceiling and prepared itself instead for a coming fight over sequestration and a possible government shutdown. The No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 325), passed by the House, suspends the debt ceiling until May 18 and ties congressional pay to passage of budget resolutions in the House and Senate by April 15.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said that the forthcoming House budget resolution will balance the federal budget within ten years. In the Senate, newly anointed Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) has indicated that the Senate plan will include new tax revenue beyond what was enacted earlier this year as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012. Continue reading “Congress Sets Stage for Second Budget Showdown”

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