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New unemployment numbers show why this is no time to slam on the economic brakes

Chad Stone at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has one of the most compelling takes out there on the new (and lousy) unemployment numbers. The bottom line: we’re now paying for the misguided decision to half-bake and, more recently, short-circuit, the economic recovery policies adopted in the early days of the Obama administration.

As Stone puts it:

“The depth of the job losses from the recession is unprecedented since the Great Depression, and the length of time it will take just to get out of the jobs hole — much less to restore full employment — will dwarf that of the sluggish jobs recovery from the 2001 recession.

It makes no sense that in an economic recovery still struggling to gain momentum, policymakers are easing up on the gas and threatening to slam on the brakes.  But that is just what is happening.

The Federal Reserve has let its program of purchasing government bonds (QE2) expire as scheduled, even though the recovery has been weaker than expected. The phasing out of the Recovery Act measures enacted in 2009 will exert a drag on economic growth, and the drag will be worse still if Congress enacts large and immediate cuts in government spending, as some members (especially House Republicans) recommend.”

You can read the entire statement by clicking here.

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