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International Evidence Provides Poor Guide for U.S. Budget Policy

March 21, 2011

Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Republicans issued a report last week arguing that cutting government spending is the key to both long-run fiscal stability and economic growth — and that the sooner we start down that path, the better. The paper cites empirical evidence concerning deficit-reduction efforts in numerous countries over the past several decades that, at first glance, seems to support their claim. But, in reality, this evidence has little relevance to the fiscal and economic challenges facing U.S. policymakers.

Today’s Jobs Report In Pictures

March 4, 2011

Today's employment report shows job creation bouncing back from its depressed level in January, but it also shows that the labor market is still suffering serious ill-effects from the 2007-2009 recession.

Is the Obama Budget Too Optimistic about the Economy?

February 28, 2011

The Obama Administration predicts that the economy will grow faster over the next ten years than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) does. As a result, the President’s budget has smaller projected budget deficits than CBO will unveil when it analyzes the President’s budget proposals in the coming weeks, using its own economic and technical assumptions.

Today's Jobs Report in Pictures

February 4, 2011

Today's jobs report is another in the recent string of such monthly reports showing modest job creation. There was another surprising drop in the unemployment rate but, at 9 percent, it is still very high. While labor market conditions are brighter than two years ago when the economy was hemorrhaging jobs, the job market remains in a deep slump for people who want to work but can't find jobs. Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context; later this morning we will issue a statement with analysis.

New GDP Report Offers Hopeful Sign for Economy and Jobs

January 28, 2011

The economy expanded at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to today’s preliminary report on gross domestic product (GDP) from the Commerce Department. Final sales of goods and services — a better measure of underlying demand than GDP — grew at a blistering 7.1 percent annual rate, offering hope for job creation going forward.

New Voodoo Economics Crowding Out Clear Thinking

January 24, 2011

George H.W. Bush had it right in 1980 when he labeled the claim that cutting taxes would reduce the budget deficit “voodoo economic policy.” That didn’t stop Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from claiming last summer that the George W. Bush-era tax cuts caused no net revenue loss — a claim that even mainstream Republican economists have thoroughly debunked.

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

January 7, 2011

The drop in the unemployment rate in December was welcome, but an important reason for it was people leaving the labor force rather than finding new jobs. The jobs deficit remains large and we will need much more rapid job growth than we saw in 2010 to simultaneously bring people back into the labor force and bring the unemployment rate down to acceptable levels over the next few years.

Tax Cut Deal Improves Economic Outlook — But Economic Hole Remains Deep

December 22, 2010

Earlier this week Dean Baker threw some cold water on the tax cut/unemployment insurance deal President Obama recently signed. While he’s right that most of the aggregate demand the deal will generate represents a continuation of current policy, not an injection of new stimulus, most economic forecasts had assumed until last week that Congress wouldn’t continue significant portions of current policy into 2011.

How the Tax Cut-Unemployment Insurance Deal Affects Federal Unemployment Benefits

December 14, 2010

The compromise between President Obama and Republican leaders would extend federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) through the end of next year.

New Report Details Job-Creating Impact of Jobless Benefits Extension

December 8, 2010

A new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) shows why the 13-month extension of federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) that’s included in this week’s tax-cut compromise between President Obama and Republican leaders is so important.