Thursday, February 2, 2012

Is Barack Obama the Austerity President?

   He is according to Derek Thompson whose article in The Atlantic is titled: "Barack Obama, Austerity President". To some extent the title is meant to be provocative rather than accurate. Indeed the article shows that the real austerity is at the state level of government rather than the federal level.
    Thompson may be right that federal spending and federal employment grew at the slowest rate since the nineteen fifties. Federal employment is even in decline. But Adam Hersh an economist points out:. "The real collapse of spending has been at the level of state and local public services and investments," "Even as the economy grew 4.2% since the start of the Obama administration, state and local spending contracted 5.2%."
    The austerity is hitting now at the state level. Americans will have to wait until after this fall's election before austerity gets into higher gears as deficit reduction and cuts in social programs will be top on the agenda. The real austerity president will take office late this year. For more see this link. Derek Thompson is an editor and covers business for the Atlantic.



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