After President Obama called on Congress today to postpone the deep across-the-board federal spending cuts set to kick in on March 1 in the so-called sequester, Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage responded by declaring that the sequester “should be repealed, not postponed.” Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus today unveiled its legislation to repeal [...]
The Austerity Bomb
It seemed like the threats and hostage-taking going on in DC had taken a breather. After a couple of years of crisis-to-crisis hostage-taking Republicans backed off their latest “debt-ceiling” threat to ruin the country’s credit and destroy the economy.
It’s been four years since Wall Street ruined the economy, we’re nearly nine million jobs behind where we need to be, and for years our politicians have debated how much less – not how much more – they’ll do about it. Now we’re about to be hit with another round of devastating spending cuts, thanks [...]
Today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment report was another one reflecting a so-called “new normal” for the economy in which what borders on bad is heralded as good. Let’s not be ambiguous about this. The fact that the economy created 157,000 jobs in January, and that there were significant upward revisions in previous months’ jobs [...]
The deficit problem is largely solved. Yet Republicans are still trying to cut us back into recession. Before the election they had an excuse: if they kept the economy down people might vote against Obama. But now? What is their game? Jobs fix deficits, and to fix jobs, fix trade and invest.
The U.S. economy shrank unexpectedly in the last three months of 2012, ending over 30 months of economic growth. Exports lagged, reflecting, in part, declining markets in Europe, now suffering a costly recession inflicted by misguided austerity policies. But the greatest cause of the decline was unexpectedly large cuts in government spending, particularly in the military.
I hope everyone understands that when Paul Ryan said they were going to leave “entitlements” alone and the sequester would take place that it was a form of political trash talk before the negotiation, right? Nobody really believes that either side will allow defense cuts of that magnitude to take place. Nobody. And the domestic cuts would cause havoc too, so they aren’t going to do that either. I’m sure there are a few Tea Partiers who would be fine with all that, but they no longer have the hold on the caucus John Boehner might have once wanted us to think they do.
But just because the looniest Tea Partiers aren’t in charge doesn’t mean the Republican majority in general is suddenly a nice bunch of Rockefeller Republicans who are eager to put all this ill will behind them and work with the Democrats to preserve the welfare state. There all nuts you know, even if they aren’t all kamikazes.
The United States is in the midst of the most protracted unemployment crisis in modern history, and for vast segments of the population, the recession has never ended. Wages are still sinking; more than 20 million people are in need of full-time work. Yet, the national debate is fixated on fixing the debt rather than [...]