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.
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.
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.
A new article from the Economic Policy Institute busts several of the myths relating to the deficit and the national debt and shows that the focus of many politicians and policy analysts is misguided and could undercut the fragile economic recovery.
If the United States implemented trade policies to end currency manipulation—especially by China—not only would that reduce the U.S. trade deficit by $190 billion to $400 billion over three years, it would be a major first step in reviving the nation’s manufacturing sector and creating up to 4.7 million jobs, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
As Congress gets ready for “Round 2” of the Fiscal Showdown—yet another manufactured budget crisis that will unfold during the month of March and over the course of this year—Republicans are resisting proposals to make this crisis go away once and for all by closing tax loopholes for Wall Street and the richest 2% of Americans.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seemingly have rallied enough of their House allies to push the battle over causing a U.S. government default down the road, with a temporary three-month extension of the government's borrowing authority (or "debt ceiling"). But House Republicans have not changed their ransom demands. They've simply chosen a different hostage. For now.
Paul Krugman reminds us in his New York Times column today that the real economic problem right now is a jobs crisis—not a deficit crisis. The unemployment rate may have dipped, but the number of jobless workers is more stubborn. So why aren’t pundits and the rest of the Inside-the-Beltway crew screaming about unemployment?
A group of 350 prominent economists, including economic experts from the AFL-CIO, issued a joint statement warning that the type of austerity measures favored by Republicans and suggested by the bipartisan commission, led by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, would further harm the economy and weaken the social safety net that millions of working families rely upon. They argue that the seemingly obsessive focus on the deficit obscures what the country really needs to focus on—creating jobs.