Whom the gods would destroy, the old saying says, they first make mad. And there’s no quicker way to become completely untethered than to read economic reports, including the latest one from the Congressional Budget Office, and then watch the political debate go on as if reality didn’t even exist.
The short version of the CBO's report is: Spending's going down, but we desperately need jobs. So how did the president and Congress respond? They kept arguing about who's got the better plan for making spending go down some more.
If you want to be taken seriously in Washington, you're going to have to learn: There are some things you just don't talk about.
1. Don't Talk About Jobs
The CBO report predicts that the Federal deficit this year will be under $1 trillion, if the "sequester" or other cuts of similar magnitude go into effect, for the first time in five years.
But unemployment won't be reduced to an acceptable level until 2018, according to the CBO - and Washington's not talking about how to create jobs. Those spending cuts will make the unemployment situation worse. Apparently that's now Washington's official plan: Cut spending, and keep more people out of work.
If things happen according to our leaders' plans - which are the basis for the CBO's projection - it will have taken 10 years for the job market to recover from Wall Street's misdeeds.
Corporate profits recovered in 18 months, and today they're higher than ever.
Richard Eskow, an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET and Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America's Future, is CEO of Health Knowledge Systems (HKS) in Los Angeles.
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