Bernanke Tries to Predict the Future

Ben Bernanke is second only to Barack Obama when it comes to being a Republican punching bag for the economic downturn, but the Federal Reserve chairman spent some time explaining his decisions and expectations for the coming months during a session with the Senate Budget Committee yesterday. Bernanke said that his biggest worry was the federal deficit, which he said is on pace to become unsustainable in the next 15 to 20 years. He refused to say whether higher taxes or reduced spending would reduce the deficit, saying it's "not [his] place" and "that's something Congress is going to have to work out ... That's what people elected you to do." However, Bernanke did say that reducing the deficit cannot come at the price of continued recovery, especially since the recovery is still "frustratingly slow" and "sluggish," and could be torn asunder by the euro crisis. Bernanke's address left out the good January jobs report, giving more credence to the theory that the numbers may be an aberration.


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Chart of the Day

A new study from Demos and U.S. PIRG released today highlights the insane levels of cash rolling into the election process through super PACs, and how few people are doing the donating. The million dollar donation club with the Sheldon Adelson-types includes a crowd of around 35 people, the 0.000011 percent of the American population.

The American Prospect


Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

Job openings increased in December by 258,000—the biggest growth since February 2011.