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Budget cuts that were never supposed to happen because they were so unpalatable for both parties just went into effect. How did we get to a place where Washington is obsessed with budget-cutting in a time of mass unemployment and unable to save us from its own actions?

Some new research from our friends at the Scholars Strategy Network can help make sense of the chaos. Joseph White dives deep into the roots of a gridlocked and dysfunctional Congress and shows that it's not just extreme Republicans who are to blame, but also so-called "centrist" budget hawks. But even when those budget hawks claim to have the support of the American people behind them as they call for draconian cuts, Benjamin Page exposes the fact that they're just siding with the ultra-wealthy. Meanwhile, the fallout from artificially created fiscal crises isn't just short-term economic pain, but the creation of even riskier long-term conditions, as shown by Sarah Quinn's research. And Anne Mayhew makes the case that we'll never break the fever of deficit hysteria until the average American has a better grasp of how money actually works. Check it all out here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  While long term deficit reduction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Calamity Jean

    through a balanced plan may be ok, short term austerity is insanity, and is just a war on the New Deal and Great Society.  In the end, the sequester is bad, but what the "deficit peacocks" really want is to destroy government programs that aid people, to overthrow the New Deal.  

    This was has been going on since Reagan, and no doubt will continue.

    Keeping the senate and defeating the R House in 2014 is the only likely way to end the austerity (budget bills and be passed then under reconciliation and so filibuster).

    Until then, the Republican war on Americans will continue

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:58:26 AM PST

  •  as the rest of us struggle in this unequal country (0+ / 0-)

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 10:01:49 AM PST

  •  It makes no sense unless the 1% win at out expense (0+ / 0-)
  •  I forgot deficits only matter when the POTUS is a (0+ / 0-)

    Dem.

    The evil radical RW Rs think that money is more important than people because that is what they talk about.

  •  It's a Win-Win (and Win, Win, Win, Win and Win) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    1- Republicans get to hurt the recovery, thereby hurting the President and his party.

    2- They get to appeal to the gullible Tea Party.

    3- It serves as a distraction from the other things they're doing (destroying capitalism and democracy).

    4- They can get to blame it on the President and Democrats in the media.

    5- They can use it as a precedent to kill Social Security and Medicare.

    6- It will lay off more police, fire fighters, and teachers – about the only groups that still have strong unions.

    7- The hardship will distract the sufferers from political matters as they try to survive.

    8- It will further the redistribution of wealth from the middle-class to the 1%.

    9- They can refinance the parts they like at a later date.

    What's not to like?

    A Southerner in Yankeeland

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