By: Ben White
October 25, 2013 05:01 AM EDT
The latest round of fiscal drama has sputtered to a temporary close, but the routine crises have one clear victim: the U.S. economy, which is once again losing altitude. And for the third year in a row, Washington gets much of the blame.
There’s not much hope for a quick turnaround.
The most recent slowdown — highlighted by poor job growth, softening corporate earnings and decimated confidence — comes just as Republicans and Democrats prepare to square off in a fresh fight over the federal budget with another potential shutdown looming in January and a renewed debt ceiling crisis possible in February.
Washington’s drag on the economy now springs from a multiplying array of sources, including the constant threat of devastating fiscal crisis, the blunt nature of the sequester spending cuts, the troubled roll-out of Obamacare and the now deeply strained relations with key economic allies over clandestine surveillance allegations.