Austerity Bites

Robert Borosage

Austerity bites. According to the BLS, 163,000 new jobs were produced in July, up from the last month but still barely at the level needed to keep up with new workers coming into the jobs market.

Government employment was down by 9,000 jobs, at a time when the government should be boosting the private economy, not burdening it.

In Great Britain, austerity has produced recession. In Europe, it has increased misery and increased debt burdens. In the US, the failure to sustain our traditional policy of increased government spending in a recession is crippling the recovery.

And now, with growth slowing in Europe, China, India and most of the world, it is time for coordinated global agreement for government action to boost their economies, not drain them.

The July jobs numbers highlight the folly of those who are demanding more cuts in government spending. They are bleeding an economy that is barely in recovery – and then blaming those who are trying to provide relief.

Americans have been badly served by a “Tea Party” Republican Right that has departed from the traditional policies of both parties in recessions, and demanded austerity in a time of trouble.

As we head towards the fiscal cliff in December, when the sequester calls for cutting some 10% from discretionary spending, legislators in both parties should reconsider inflicting more pain on this very weak economy.

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