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The situation results from the political and economic miscalculations of President Obama, beginning with his embrace of deficit reduction as a priority in his first term, writes Robert Kuttner in American Prospect. Unless Congress repudiates the Budget Control Act, and President Obama blows up the entire paradigm that produced it, a fragile recovery will be the victim of budgetary masochism.

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The goal is economic recovery — and the recovery improves the debt ratio, not the other way around. He cites the European experience as a cautionary tale — and notes that budget cuts sent the economy into contraction in the last quarter of last year:. The same has been demonstrated for Spain, Portugal, and Britain.

Something similar occurred on a more modest scale in the fourth quarter of right at home. Democrats have pushed this line to call attention to the Bush tax cuts and the fact that he did not pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Republicans push the line to feed the notion that government is overspending…. There is no plausible story whereby private-sector demand will fill the gap created by a smaller deficit.

It would be the best possible outcome of the sequester debate if this simple point could be made in polite circles in Washington again. Barack ObamasequetrationSocial Security.

For updates on local programs, and live, timely coverage of community events, sign up at http: Chicago, IL, Tel: Sponsors Sponsor the Guide. Send tips to Curtis BlackNewstips Editor curtis newstips.

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Suggest a Newstip from your organization. The Donors Forum is warning of “an immediate series of drastic cuts to community services,” along with the loss of thousands of jobs in Illinois.

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