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Almost everything you need to know about the self-destructive economic policy coming out of Congress was contained in two simple statements this week. While the Federal Reserve warned that "fiscal policy is restraining economic growth," the Republican National Committee released an ad crowing that "the sequester is here to stay." Judging by the April jobs numbers published today, the Republican Party can declare "mission accomplished." After all, the public sector shed another 11,000 workers last month, pushing the total just since March 2010 to 625,000. Worse still, a new analysis suggests, compared to past recoveries austerity policies at the federal, state and local government level have cost the U.S. up to 2.2 million jobs.

That's the conclusion from the Hamilton Project. It's not just the collapse of the housing market and the implosion of the financial sector which resulted in the slowest American recovery since World War II. Much of the damage has been self-inflicted by policymakers in Washington and the 50 states. Noting that the private sector has added 6.8 million jobs since March 2010 and 2.2 million in just the last year, the public sector "has been a drag on the economy."

We find that the last several years' policy choices are starkly different from those following previous recessions. Specifically, there are 2.2 million fewer jobs today, relative to what would have occurred with the policy response typical of the five preceding recessions.
The Hamilton Project is far from alone in lamenting the "anti-stimulus" of cutbacks across all levels of government. In April 2012, the Economic Policy Institute similarly concluded:
The current recovery is the only one that has seen public-sector losses over its first 31 months...

If public-sector employment had grown since June 2009 by the average amount it grew in the three previous recoveries (2.8 percent) instead of shrinking by 2.5 percent, there would be 1.2 million more public-sector jobs in the U.S. economy today. In addition, these extra public-sector jobs would have helped preserve about 500,000 private-sector jobs.

Continue reading below the fold.

That March, Paul Krugman expressed the same point, but with some inconvenient historical context for the Party of Reagan. "In fact, if it weren't for this destructive fiscal austerity," Krugman explained, "Our unemployment rate would almost certainly be lower now than it was at a comparable stage of the 'Morning in America' recovery during the Reagan era."

We're talking big numbers here. If government employment under Mr. Obama had grown at Reagan-era rates, 1.3 million more Americans would be working as schoolteachers, firefighters, police officers, etc., than are currently employed in such jobs.

And once you take the effects of public spending on private employment into account, a rough estimate is that the unemployment rate would be 1.5 percentage points lower than it is, or below 7 percent -- significantly better than the Reagan economy at this stage.

Even the Wall Street Journal acknowledged that U.S. public sector austerity was inflicting significant—and mostly unnecessary—pain on American workers. A year ago, the Journal looked at the more volatile household survey of unemployment to suggest the impact of public sector contraction might be much, much worse than Labor Department numbers would show:
In the three months ended April, it shows that there were an average 20.3 million people engaged in government work, 1.2 million fewer than the average for the three months ended December 2008. That is more than double the job losses registered by the establishment survey.

The unemployment rate would be far lower if it hadn't been for those cuts: If there were as many people working in government as there were in December 2008, the unemployment rate in April would have been 7.1%, not 8.1%.

With federal spending roughly flat while state and local outlays have only just returned to 2008 levels, the result is what Floyd Norris of the New York Times called "the incredible shrinking U.S. government." When it comes to government's contribution to total American gross domestic product (GDP), the U.S. hasn't seen this kind of contraction since the post-Korean War demobilization of the mid-1950s.

Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago, put the impact of American austerity in perspective:

"What's the biggest drag on the economy? The government," Ms. Swonk said. "If the government simply did no harm, we could be at escape velocity."

Without the impact of federal cuts and higher taxes, Ms. Swonk estimates, annual economic growth would be close to 4 percent, above the 2.5 percent pace she is expecting in 2013.

Instead, the U.S. economy will muddle through, producing slow jobs gains that will take five years to return to pre-recession levels. And despite warnings from the Congressional Budget Office that the sequester Republicans extorted during their 2011 debt ceiling hostage-taking will slash 750,000 and 0.6 percent from GDP, Uncle Sam's handcuffs remain firmly in place. As for President Obama's proposed budget which would eliminate the $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade, Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner have only one response to the disappointing jobs numbers.

The sequester is here to stay.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yep It's the New Starting Line for the Next Round (5+ / 0-)

    of cuts.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:41:46 PM PDT

  •  OUTSTANDING DIARY!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, FarWestGirl, mookins

    Tipped and Rec'd this is simply government by corporation wishing to destroy the American way of life.  End the Global Austerity Cabal!!!

    •  Severely understates reality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      see my other comment, and todays dairy for details why.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:52:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please hammer this topic you raise. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grimjc

        Cannot recommend your Propose a realistic stimulus-Let the GOP kill it & run on that in 2014 essay any more highly. (At your link.)

        Even the comments there are excellent.

        This, in my opinion, would be the thing for the disgruntled with the party to coalesce around. And now. The polling shows even Republicans want the Federal Government to do a stimulus.

        It's so bloody obvious as a way to, at the very least, get Republicans fighting on the defensive, and on our turf. And likely to win elections for Dems, very very likely. Unless voters don't turn out for what they demand.

        How this escapes the leadership... ?


        Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

        by Jim P on Sat May 04, 2013 at 08:07:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We had a stimulus. It failed. (0+ / 0-)

          As predicted, it raised the GDP a few percentage points for a very brief time, then we receded back into near recession.

          To use the word "stimulus" is being dishonest.  Government spending stimulates nothing.  It merely increases GDP for a short period.  If the nearly 1 Trillion dollar "stimulus" would have really stimulated the economy, we should be looking at 5-7% GDP growth.  Instead we are languishing at an anemic rate of 2% or so, which is pitiful.

          Government hiring simply does not work.  The private sector needs to be "stimulated", but Obamacare has effectively prevented that.

          •  Now I see why the Republicans want (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grimjc

            immigration reform.  The current Gang of 8 proposal is a creates a worker oversupply for the 1%.  U.S. worker protections are non-existent.

            Adding 33 million foreign workers to this tight job market will be the nail in the coffin to the middleclass.  We will try to remember the good old days when unemployment was only 8%.

            It will just be overlords and serfs.  Democrats are playing right into their hands.

          •  Utter nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            voicemail, Jim P

            The stimulus did exactly what is was supposed to do....
            "it raised the GDP a few percentage points for a very brief time"
            exactly, during the time period when the extra money was spent...... GDP (a measure of all spending) went up correspondingly.  That is exactly what it was supposed to do.  The deficit will have shrunk by about $700 billion by the end of this year and so thats $700 billion fewer newly created dollars into the money supply and economy.  Is it any wonder why the economy is so bad?  The private sector can and should not fuel growth right now by expanding the money supply via new private debt issuance as private debt levels of 300% of GDP or $42 trillion was the cause of the Great Recession in the first place.  

            "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

            by Auburn Parks on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:02:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yours isn't a comment. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim P

            It's a string of assertions held together by unsupported theories and loose connections. The slash and burn countereffects of cutting local, state, and federal employment is likely the reason for capping GDP effects of the limited stimulus. You know that. Most serious economists agree that the stimulus had exactly predictable, and limited, effects.  

            I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

            by voicemail on Sun May 05, 2013 at 06:34:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The stimulus was insufficient. It did work, for a (0+ / 0-)

            bit, but the President's own council recommended he ask for $1.8T. He settled for about $800B trying to be "practical." Practical would have been asking for $3T and getting it whittled down to what we objectively needed.

            Velocity of money matters.

            The real fix, of course, was to jail organized crime, calling itself Banking. Nationalize the banks after forcing them to do real books, which would show them insolvent (they still are), and rebuilding from there.


            Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

            by Jim P on Sun May 05, 2013 at 01:41:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  With U6 at 13.8% make 12-14 million jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    basquebob, JesseCW

    Dean Bakers 1.2 trillion stim would have created 28-30 million jobs, Christime Romers 1.8 trillion would have not just hired everyone, it would have created a labor shortage, sharply driving wages up.

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:47:57 PM PDT

    •  Austerity cost 12-14 million jobs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basquebob, JesseCW

      How the hell can you come up up with 2.2 million jobs?

      100 billion in infrastructure spending would create 2.5 million jobs. 1 trillion - 25 million jobs.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:50:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Answer is in This Phrase... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKinTN, Roger Fox, basquebob, FarWestGirl

        ..."relative to what would have occurred with the policy response typical of the five preceding recessions."

        The Hamilton Project (and the others cited here) did not compare actual performance to what might have happened with a much larger stimulus, but simply compared to what federal/state/local government did during past recessions.

        I'm with you on the past and present needed for larger/more stimulus.  But that's not the scenario these studies looked at.

        •  3 preceding recessions (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          basquebob, JesseCW

          1990, 2000 & 2009-09 occurred without New Deal style protections. A rather low benchmark. And lets throw in the '81-'82 recession in there too

          From 1938 to 1988, there were 3 recessions that saw GDP dip more than negative 2% (annual GDP). Only 2 lasted more than 11 months, looking at business cycles.

          ..."relative to what would have occurred with the policy response typical of the five preceding recessions."
          I'm guilty of reading too quickly, my apologies. But Frankly previous 5 recessions wont show much of any perspective as far as what new Deal policies did to prevent the jobless recovery and the repeated business cycles that were of more breadth and depth.

          Still gave ya a TnR though.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:14:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OT, typo note.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jon Perr

          I believe you're missing and 'n' in the title, 'since WWII'.  

          It's gotta be laying around here someplace. ;-)

          Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
          ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

          by FarWestGirl on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:44:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Tax cuts don't work, and those were the bulk (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostinamerica

        of the stimulus.

        Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

        by JesseCW on Fri May 03, 2013 at 03:52:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No they weren't, for crying out loud. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          satrap, Hamtree

          Tax cuts were 1/3 the stimulus.  And those tax cuts targeted low income people most.

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:05:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right. Cutting Social Security revenue and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            satrap, Jim P

            strengthening the argument for cutting benefits by making the program dependent on the general fund for the first time did target low income people the most.

            But we've been targeted enough.  It's time to start targeting the financial "industry" and those who profit from it instead.

            Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

            by JesseCW on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:08:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No one cut SS revenue. The FICA cuts were (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              satrap, Hamtree

              made whole by other revenues moved into the SS Trust Fund.

              "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

              by shrike on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:11:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes. From the General Fund. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shrike, maryabein

                which made possible, for the first time ever, the appearance, and thus the argument, used by both Republicans and Democrats, that "Social Security draws from the General Funds."

                I've seen it at DKos, in defense of the policy.

                Revenue which could have as easily just come from the Federal part of withholding. Just less for the General Fund; no money-moving around, end of story.

                While obviating the scam-friendly "Look. See funds from the General Fund to help Soc Security."


                Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

                by Jim P on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:21:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  True, but 97% of voters don't pay attention to (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  satrap, Jim P, Hamtree

                  that part.

                  "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

                  by shrike on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:27:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Go to websites where the kids go to talk (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    satrap

                    you'd be amazed at how widespread "social security losing money right now" is.

                    And when all is said and done, elections still turn on 1% and 3% kind of percentages.

                    PS I don't think we've ever recommended each other. I think my life is about to change.


                    Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

                    by Jim P on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:43:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  You are delusional (0+ / 0-)

      You picked those numbers directly out of your ass, amiright, or amiright?

  •  Government spending on necessary (6+ / 0-)

    infrastructure is much more than an immediate jobs program - it can provide a solid foundation for the next two or three economic generations. Look at the legacy of infrastructure of the New Deal and try to imagine the strong economies of the 1950's and 60's without it.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:05:26 PM PDT

  •  it's so so so sad (0+ / 0-)

    I like Obamacare, but that '10 election has been absolutely devastating.  I wish the ACA never would have passed.  Never.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:07:55 PM PDT

    •  It should not have been the priority in the midst (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap, Jim P

      of a real-economy depression.

      Wasting the opportunity to do what Voters elected Democrats to do (and health insurance reform was way down the list) cost us the House for a generation.

      The Voters were screaming "we need jobs dumbasses" for two years straight and all anyone in DC heard was "What?  Please mandate that you buy health insurance you can't afford? Ok!!".

      Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

      by JesseCW on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:10:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The ACA thing has been a debacle- and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hamtree

        I realize that has nothing to do with the law itself. It could have been a good law and it may still be in the loooooonnnnggg run, but it's cost: benefit is absolutely immense and sickening...

        From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

        by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:14:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  C'mon, right out of the chute in Feb 09 Obama (4+ / 0-)

        passed a large jobs/stimulus bill.  THEN he went to healthcare.

        Spain has 25% UE and most of Europe is way worse off than us.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:15:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The euroidiots have acted (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hamtree, joe from Lowell

          like Repubs on steroids.  That shouldn't be a defense of our own bad decisions.  

          From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

          by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:19:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It was a tiny bill, far smaller than any credibile (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          satrap

          mainstream economist advocated given the scale of the problem, and all it did was mitigate damage.

          It did not create net job, it only served to slow the bleeding.

          It was in no way responsive to a public demanding massive jobs programs.  

          People voted for Democrats in a Depression because they expected them to govern like Democrats in a Depression.   What they got were policies one would expect from a Rockefeller Republican in response to a modest recession.

          Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

          by JesseCW on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:21:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I laugh, so I don't cry. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        satrap, maryabein

        And, since, followed that up with

        "oh, gosh, this deficit is just the most horrible thing! Why, we might lose the confidence of the people who have proven to be multi-level criminals who we refuse to prosecute. Only one thing to do: kills jobs and cut services!"

        How much more divorced from reality can our politicians be? Isn't doing the healthy things the vast majority of voters want THE way to win elections?

        Unless, of course, it's that our politicians are working by the rules of a reality that they prefer we don't see. But that's crazy talk.


        Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

        by Jim P on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:31:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Every campaign cycle, it's 'JOBS JOBS JOBS' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        satrap

        from every candidate.  Then they get into office, and we get austerity driven job cuts and abortion legislation over and over.

  •  People forget though- maybe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, Hamtree

    not forget on this site, but in general- that the Rs would love for the public sector to be driven to zero.  It's just so awful that the Obama revolution heralded a greater, totally nihilistic counterrevolution.  

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:10:29 PM PDT

  •   Clearly, we need more bipartisanship. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    Otherwise we're going to stretch out this "drowning the government" much longer than really necessary.

    btw, if the Sequester had been vetoed does anyone know if each Chamber would have come up with the 2/3 to override?

    Maybe now is the time for that trillion-dollar coin. Or find some way to do that massive Federal Jobs Stimulus 72% of the voters say they want.

    If not now, perhaps after the 2014 elections.


    Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

    by Jim P on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:13:16 PM PDT

    •  We're not getting biparisanship because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shrike

      Rs have nothing but hatred.  We should thank our lucky stars that Todd Akin and Dickface Mourdoch did our bidding themselves.  

      I still ask myself 'How have we gotten here?' constantly and the only thing I can come up with is the artificial resuscitation of the Evil Party by the ACA vote...

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:17:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was being entirely snarky about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        satrap

        bipartisanshit-on-the-people. When one force, lunatic though it may be, keeps steadily pushing for one goal...

        ...and here, let's remember that this diary is about the reality that "Shrinking the Government" is in place -- precisely the lunatics goal...

        What happens is you walk toward their goal a bit with each bipartisanshit agreement, thus ceding ground to the lunatic goal every single time.

        Of course, outside of some social issues, it's almost impossible to say what Democratic Leadership's goals are which have priority over the one of getting along better with ... the lunatics.

        "Oh, that razor isn't sharp enough? Let me help you with that." In return we get something that Repubs back out on as soon as they want to. That's the sum and substance of 21st C bipartisanship. = They win, we lose when it's all totaled up.


        Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

        by Jim P on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:40:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I figured it must be snark (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P

          I think the structure of our country right now is one that fervently believes the private sector is WAY better than the public one and even Ds have difficulty defending the gov.  It's just too bad. It would have been a great time to prove govs mettle, not to reenergize Wall Street.

          From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

          by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:43:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, it's that the Ds are not defending the gov (0+ / 0-)

            They're enough in favor of the Trade Agreements, Privatization of Governmental and Military functions, accept the "Everything Depends on Business and Business Alone, So Help Them" axiom of Conservatives (though with a human face).

            Myself, I expect Republicans to work in whatever way they can to re-introduce the glorious time of pre-Plague serfdom. But I'm not a Democrat to see Republican goals reached. Too much culpability going on with our Party, and it has to change. It just has to.


            Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

            by Jim P on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:48:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Balance sheet recession (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, satrap

    Can we please get this right. This is not a normal recession. As such comparisons with past US recessions are wrong - like comparing apples with oranges.

    This is a balance sheet recession (as opposed to a business cycle recession). It is a recession caused by too much debt in the system. As such the cures and the length of time til a real recovery comes are very very different - by definition.

    It does not matter what alternative would have been tried, there was no easy way out of this type of recession (except maybe by a debt jubilee). Current policy has been to try to reflate the bubble. So far it is holding its own ... but unfortunately there is no exit strategy. There is no way back. Eventually it will fail, or there will be hyperinflation.

    Just for a bit of sense to the unbelievable lengths the Fed is going to and how little impact they are having think of this - The Fed is printing $85 billion a month [Note: by comparison WalMart sales are about $25 billion a month] and generating about 150,000 jobs a month for a cost of $500,000 per job. I can think of more effective and less costly solutions, and I am sure you can too.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:18:57 PM PDT

    •  It truly is a b/s recession as opposed to an (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap

      inventory workoff as in the past.

      As Warren Buffett says " Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked" and the tide is out more than ever.

      Anyone upside down in their balance sheet has been decimated.

      I disagree about the Fed though.  They are the last resort in lending.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:25:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  fed (0+ / 0-)

        I would argue that what the fed is doing is very ineffective at helping the real economy, though it is doing wonders for the 1%.

        Here is an off the wall alternative to what the fed is doing (buying mortgage debt and gov't debt) ... lend to anyone with credit card debt (probably at about 30% interest) or student debt at 3% interest - with the stipulation that 1/2 of the interest savings had to be sued to pay down principal .. while the rest could be spent if desired. This would be a fast way to reduce private debt, and may provide some direct stimulus too. It may not sound fair (rewarding the spendthrifts) but it is more fair than bailing out the banks that caused the mess in the first place.

        There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

        by taonow on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:47:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Meh. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap

      Debt as a percentage of GDP is supposedly not actually at record highs iirc.  Of course, while Republicans can do nothing but shriek 'debt, debt'!, I'd like to see them vote to reinfuse the money into the system that was taken out through over a decade of tax cuts and Republican wars.  They can feel free to pay the country back the trillions they've cost us that have driven the debt so high.

      •  the federal balance sheet is not the topic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taonow, satrap

        taonow raised.

        He/she certainly meant individual/corporate balance sheets.

        I read a great article I can find that cited credit drawdowns as pulling $6-8 trillion dollars out of the economy.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:39:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Corporations are raking in the money. (0+ / 0-)

          They're having record quarter after quarter, and, in large part, paying little to nothing in taxes.  Why are individuals in debt?  Poor pay and unemployment.  Why are small businesses hurting?  Low demand because the people who used to buy their products are unemployed or underemployed.

          Our 'debt' problem is entirely created by lack of well-paying jobs.  Well-paid, employed people buy the goods and services companies offer.

          Henry Ford knew this, and paid his employees highly, and his business boomed.  The current 'cut employees' and 'cut pay' mentaility is the creator of the problem, not its solution.

  •  Thank you for this important piece. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:25:29 PM PDT

  •  I'd like to see some state by state data. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, joe from Lowell

    I think it would be interesting to see those job numbers in terms of which states are doing best and which are doing worst.  While I imagine there's an overlay that depends upon the housing market, I wouldn't be surprised to see a base correspondence between job losses and republican austerity legislators & governors.

  •  The Repukes should (0+ / 0-)

    have been consigned to whig status for 20 years.  Unfortunately the ACA let them up off the canvas....

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:29:28 PM PDT

  •  everybody knows (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    that all those government jobs are just busy-work for a bunch of unmotivated moochers.  Except they're not.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity

    by mailman27 on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:31:03 PM PDT

  •  When Rs say "We're on (0+ / 0-)

    our way to becoming Greece!" they say it with glee, not fear...

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:36:17 PM PDT

  •  2.5 + 0.5 = ??? (0+ / 0-)

    I have never read an article in which the author made it THIS easy to expose how full of bullshit he is, using nothing but his own words that he conveniently places only a few paragraphs apart.

    Bullshit line #1:
    It is understandable why last week’s 2.5 percent real GDP growth figure troubled many. First, it was below the consensus 3 percent expectation.

    And bullshit line #2:
    Juxtaposed with this profligacy, we find the following spending “austerity”: an $85 billion sequester that took effect just two months ago. That spending cut represents a 2.3 percent reduction from where spending otherwise would have been. In our $16 trillion economy, it is only a 0.5 percent slice.

    If you're going to write about economics, you should probably know how to add 2.5 and 0.5. But I guess you don't if you're just going to be a political hack.

  •  The DC DEMS: Also owned by the 1%. (0+ / 0-)

    There's a reason the country keeps drifting to the right: THE DEMS WON'T FIGHT!

    •  by far, most of the austerity was at the state (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      Level, so I don't know why progressives always blame 'DC Dems" rather than state level gov't.  (Not to mention that repubs, not "DC Dems", blocked the president's jobs act; of course progressives tend.)

      •  Why do fish swim? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tony Situ

        Saying "both sides are the same" is the point, and any issues and events they bring up are just there to make that point.

        But remember: if you do it with a sneer while wearing a concert t-shirt, it's not Broderism; it's principled radicalism.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:22:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wish you'd made it clearer that this is mainly (0+ / 0-)

    a state and local problem.

    The federal government hasn't really adopted austerity - it's adopted stimulus policy, but not enough to make up for the deep cuts at the state and local level.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:20:48 AM PDT

  •  The banksters (0+ / 0-)

    are NOT trying to fix anyone's economy.  They are deliberately destroying nations all over the world.

    Why?

    So they can buy up resources for PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR.

    That is how the banksters will end up literally owning the world.

    Where do we human beings come in?

    The banksters have use only for a small percentage of us, and then only as domestic and personal servants.  The rest of us will be starved out by poverty and continuing disenfranchisement.

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