Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Kathleen Geier at the Political Animal blog gets it exactly right in this post. “The sequester will help the economy”: another right-wing fairy tale debunks itself:
I know, I know. I’m still reeling from the shock.
The sequester took effect on March 1, so we now have three months’
worth of jobs data that have been released in its aftermath. The results
have been underwhelming, to say the least. As Brad DeLong observed this week, we are still in a depressed economy. And as Ed Kilgore noted yesterday, the latest monthly jobs report was thoroughly mediocre.
I particularly wanted to highlight the point
the New York Times’ Annie Lowrey made: that the report shows that the
sequester is already, specifically beginning to have a negative impact
on employment. Yesterday’s report shows that the federal workforce,
which has suffered cutbacks due to the sequester, is shrinking at a
dramatically accelerated rate:
Federal employment had been on a downward trend since the
start of 2011, with the government shedding about 3,000 or 4,000
positions a month through February. Then sequestration hit on March 1.
And in the last three months, the federal work force has shrunk by about
45,000 positions, including 14,000 in May alone.
Those newly unemployed federal workers, of course, now have less
money to spend, which will also slow down the economy. In addition, the
sequester is also causing cuts in programs like unemployment benefits and benefits to low-income people
such as aid for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Low Income
Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Benefits to the unemployed and
low-income folks act not only as a social safety net, but also as
stimulus, since poor people and the jobless are likely to spend every
penny they’ve got. Now, less of that money will be going into the
pockets of those people and thus into the economy at large. That will
also hurt the economic recovery, such as it is.
So, for those of you keeping score at home? The right wing/free
market fundamentalists/austerity caucus? They are wrong. Again. And once
again, they are continuing to drive the economy, and the country, into