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Sunday, December 11, 2016

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Austerity has one purpose: lowering debt.

But as this chart from The Huffington Post (inspired by Quartz‘s Matt Phillips) shows, every country that has been forced into austerity has ended up increasing its debt.

Meanwhile, this Reuters chart from last year compares the U.S. recovery with that of Europe.

chart-of-the-day-real-gdp-rebased-to-100-in-2003-april-2012

In the U.S., we’ve only delved into federal austerity this year with the sequestration. And while our debt is rising, the deficit is falling faster than it has in 60 years. Meanwhile, job creation, the housing market and the stock market are all at multi-year highs.

A new report says that the government could add a million jobs by just canceling the sequestration.

But for House Republicans, that’s not even a possibility. Instead they’re cutting food stamps and environmental programs while debating whether they should threaten to shut down the government if the president won’t defund Obamacare. Some Republicans have actually thought this out and recognized this tactic would only result in the GOP having to cave at some point but Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), desperate to win back some conservative credibility, is telling Republicans to think of it as President Obama threatening to shut down the government unless they fund Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Obamacare actually reduces the long-term deficit, which is the actual goal of smart debt reduction. Short-term cuts, as Europe has learned, give all the pain with none of the rewards — unless your goal the whole time has actually been to slow the recovery.

Other points:

The Great Tactical Error of the Obama Presidency?
Not matching Republican resources in the 2010 election, which will have consequences until 2022, reports Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.

Republicans Keep Bashing Steve King
But their policies still are closer to his than they’d like to admit.

FISA Court, FISA Court, FISA Court
We should be talking about the FISA Court and Chief Justice John Roberts’ incredible sway over it as the one man who picks all the judges.

Obamacare Depends On Young People Enrolling
And the goals seem reachable, says Adrianna McIntyre, a graduate student studying health policy at the University of Michigan.

Clarence Thomas’ Wife v. Karl Rove
This is what it looks like under the conservative rock. Don’t miss Mother Jones‘ David Corn on #Groundswell.

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