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What We’re Reading Today: Tuesday News Roundup

What We’re Reading Today: Tuesday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families news we're reading today (after the jump).

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An Economics Lesson on the Deficit and Debt

This week, Republicans in the House caved and allowed a simple vote on raising the debt limit of the United States. Their hand-wringing about the debt is disingenuous, but more importantly, it is part of a campaign to confuse America's workers about the real deficit, which must be addressed urgently—the deficit in jobs, which according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office cost the economy about $730 billion in lost production.

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Economic News Roundup

Economic News Roundup

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and Media Matters have released important research about the economy in the past few weeks. Here's a look at some of the key pieces they have uncovered about the U.S. economy.

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Trade Deficit Numbers Show Policy Changes Needed

Trade Deficit Numbers Show Policy Changes Needed

The trade deficit numbers released today provide more evidence that U.S. trade policy needs to change, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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Cognitive Dissonance

The U.S. Department of Treasury announced on Wednesday that the deficit for 2013 was $680 billion (which is about $200 billion less than projected back in February). It has been falling since 2009 at the fastest rate on record since the demobilization of World War II. 

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There's Only One Word We Need to Be Talking About to Boost Our Economy

Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange

Jobs.

Deficit. Debt. Debt ceiling. Sequester. Shutdown. Cuts. "Shared" sacrifice. Belt tightening. Grand bargain—Republicans and Washington elites throw around a bunch of words when they talk about the economy and what it will take to get the country moving forward. But the one word they need to be talking about—jobs—seems almost absent from the conversation. No wonder things aren't getting much better.

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Fiscal Follies: Watch the Conversation on Budget Surplus

Last week, the White House announced changes in projections for fiscal health. In June, the government will have a surplus and the projected deficit for this year will be $214 billion less than originally projected. That means the deficit will be 4.7% of GDP (the nation’s total income), down from the original forecast of 6%.  Moreover, the deficit will be below 3% of GDP by 2017. Now it is time for the follies to begin.

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Krugman Says Increased Spending, Not Austerity, Key to Creating Jobs

Richard Trumka and Paul Krugman

Before a packed crowd at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said the way to ease the economic crisis in the United States is to create more jobs through increased public investment, raising wages and restoring workers’ ability to bargain collectively. Austerity policies are the last thing we should be doing. The event was part of AFL-CIO's Book Club series. Krugman discussed major themes in his book End This Depression Now!, which was just released in paperback.

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In Sequester Fight, Boehner's Willing to Sacrifice the Hostages

Photo courtesy of Rep. Ron Barber's congressional website.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) continues to lead the Republican charge to the March 1 deadline, when arbitrary, across-the-board sequestration cuts in everything from mental health services to public safety kick in. In a cynical drive to wring massive concessions in cuts from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Boehner and the Republicans are willing to inflict hardships on working families and bring disaster to the economy.

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Sen. Whitehouse: Use $1 Trillion in Tax Reform to Stop Sequestration

Sheldon Whitehouse. Photo courtesy of the United States Senate.

In just a few weeks, the nation will be facing yet another manufactured fiscal crisis when a series of harsh across-the-board federal spending cuts in education, defense and all government operations go into effect unless Congress repeals them. 

Known as “sequestration,” economists say these cuts would imperil the fragile economic recovery and cost as many as 1 million of America's workers their jobs. Yet Republicans are making threats to let those cuts take effect on March 1 unless Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits are cut or drastic cuts are made to vital services.

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