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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Job Killers

As the lemmings head for the cliff, again, it's important to note they biggest threat to our economic recovery: congressional Republicans.

Despite overwhelming evidence in the rest of the world -- Ireland, Greece and the United Kingdom to name three -- that fiscal austerity is the wrong way to cure what ails a world economy weakened by the excess of the aughts, House Republicans are leading the nation up to and likely over the edge again.

While wailing about poor treatment of "job creators" who have been nowhere to be found, the GOP has led a continual shrinking of a major workforce -- public sector employees  ranging from the folks who pick up our trash to the ones who defend the nation. Those losses have offset the solid growth in private sector employment and are seen in our sluggishly high unemployment rate.

The sequester now likely to go into effect will only accelerate that trend, with estimates that at least 750,000 jobs are on the chopping block.
The Federal Reserve and other economic forecasters say that the latest round of government austerity is not likely to return the economy to recession, thanks to stronger private sector growth. But the spending cutbacks and actions to raise taxes could reduce growth by roughly 1.5 percentage points this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, leaving the sluggish economy operating well below capacity.
Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been relentless in chronicling the folly and failure of European austerity and its twin cousin of sequester. But the journalism community that covers everything as a political horse race, continues to limits its attention to the halls of Congress and not the hiring halls of businesses around the nation.

The endless game of chicken also harms the economy by creating uncertainty for real job creators, who are ready to press ahead with an idea but uncertain they will have customers because the economy continues at stall speed thanks to the heavy hand of congressional Republicans.

Remember these facts when the fingers of blame sweep wildly as government services shut down and people are furloughed, first from government jobs and eventually from private sector ones as the economy stalls and Congress plays politics.

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