Unless Congress and the White House work together to manage the budget sequestration and tax hikes scheduled for the end of the year, the economy could plummet into a mild recession—growth contracting by an estimated annual rate of 1.3 percent—according to the Congressional Budget Office. If all the spending cuts and tax hikes are canceled, the economy will likely grow by 4.4 percent, and two million jobs will be added. "The idea of piling another recession on top of such a slow and incomplete recovery is quite horrifying from the standpoint of the well being of average families in this country," said William Galston at the Brookings Institution. "It would be unconscionable to permit that to happen if there were obvious policy alternatives."
Complicating the impending negotiations is the debt ceiling, which Republicans say they are unwilling to raise without spending cuts, and which will need to be dealt with at the end of the year as well. The CBO also said that although next year the economy will be better off without the spending cuts and tax hikes, the long-term costs of not exercising "financial restraint" are also high.
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Chart of the Day
Although Facebook's stock isn't doing as well as some hoped, there's no doubt that the social media company has doubtless made its presence known worldwide. Here's a map of the top places where people use Facebook. Although the United States has none of the top cities for Facebook users, the country has the most users.
Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning
Using your bike to get around can save a pretty penny. Bicyclists save $4.6 billion every year in the United States by not driving.
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