GOP Crises Alone Have Killed 900,000 Jobs
After shutting down the government for over two weeks in a failed attempt to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans, the prospect of a catastrophic economic shutdown caused by an unprecedented default on our obligations has finally brought enough Republicans to their senses. A bipartisan deal negotiated by senators to re-open the government and avoid a default appears set to pass both the House and the Senate this evening.
President Obama and Democrats stood strong and refused to grant Republicans any of their ransom demands in exchange for Congress agreeing to simply do its job, but unfortunately the series of crises manufactured by the GOP over the past few years has already taken a terrible toll on the economy.
A new report out yesterday pins the number of jobs killed by the GOP’s government-by-crisis strategy over the past few years at 900,000.
As ThinkProgress notes, the report also finds that the painful and unnecessary austerity spending cuts (themselves largely imposed by the GOP using crises and threats) in place have cost us more than a million jobs:
The report also finds that cuts to discretionary spending from 2011 to the present have cost the country 1.2 million jobs and 0.7 percentage points of GDP growth. About three-quarters of the $2.4 trillion in total deficit reduction enacted since the fall of 2010 was in the form of spending cuts. The Peterson-commissioned estimate of what that steep reduction in government expenditures has cost is a bit more conservative than previous estimates by other economists, but only slightly less negative.
This graphic from our Center for American Progress colleagues illustrates how many more Americans would have jobs in a world without austerity:
Finally, a different report out this evening finds the current shutdown crisis pulled $24 BILLION out of the economy and will slash more than a half-percentage off GDP growth.
BOTTOM LINE: It’s time for Republicans to stop trying to govern by crisis, hostage-taking, and extortion. The fight over the debt limit is over. Period. It’s now time for us to come to a long-term agreement on the budget that gets rid of the damaging sequester cuts and is instead focused on our real problems: jobs and economic growth.
It’s also time for Speaker Boehner to abandon his failed attempts to appease the extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP and instead seek a bipartisan governing majority focused on doing what’s best for our country, including the passage of immigration reform with a pathway to earned citizenship.
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