Austerity

It seems the sequester is going to happen. So the US is going to try austerity. As noted here, we should look at Europe to see how austerity is working there. It’s not going well:

A top European official warned on Friday that the euro area economy would shrink for the second consecutive year and that countries like France and Spain would miss fiscal targets meant to ensure the stability of the common currency. Separately, the European Central Bank announced that the region’s banks planned to repay less than half the expected amount of low-interest loans they took out a year ago. And Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Britain’s government bonds from its top AAA rating.

And that’s understating things, the unemployment rate is 16.9% in Portugal (go here to see how it has changed), 26% in Spain (trend), and 27% in Greece (trend). For the Euro area it’s now past 11.7% and the percentage of unemployed who have been unemployed more than a year is over 44%. This is Great Depression level suffering.

I can’t seem to embed the charts, but government spending has gone down over the last three years in Portugal, Spain, and Greece. Really, we should listen to many Republicans and cut the budget now.

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