Haven't checked in with Robert Reich for awhile:
The Economic Challenge Ahead: More Jobs and Growth, Not Deficit Reduction, by Robert Reich: Can we just keep things in perspective? On Tuesday, the President asked Republicans to join him in finding more spending cuts and revenues before the next fiscal cliff whacks the economy at the end of the month.
Yet that same day, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal budget deficit will drop to 5.3 percent of the nation’s total output by the end of this year.
This is roughly half what the deficit was relative to the size of the economy in 2009. It’s about the same share of the economy as it was when Bill Clinton became president in 1992. The deficit wasn’t a problem then, and it’s not an immediate problem now.
Yes, the deficit becomes larger later in the decade. ... The real deficit problem comes after that — when rising healthcare costs combined with 76 million decaying boomers will cost us all a fortune. ...
Right now the central challenge is to reignite the economy — getting jobs back, improving wages, and restoring growth. Deficit reduction moves us in the opposite direction. ...
In other words, we’re still having the wrong discussion. It shouldn’t be how to cut the budget deficit. It should be how to bring back good jobs and economic growth.
Deficit hawks and government-haters are still framing the debate. That bodes ill for all of us.
I never thought that the policymakers at the Fed would be the only ones who seem to care about the unemployed. Right now, the jobs deficit is far more important to our future than the budget deficit.