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Though we never really tried a stimulus, America mostly avoided austerity — extreme budget cutting during a recession to reduce debt — by delaying real cuts to the federal budget until this year, when cuts on the state and local levels are finally ending.

Europe hasn’t been so lucky, as this 2012 chart from Business Insider‘s Joe Weisenthal shows.

uk vs us vs euro

 

But even Germany, the country that forced the rest of the Eurozone into cutting when they should be spending, is ready to give up on this dangerous idea and try some stimulus — after its unemployment rate increased four times more than expected.

If you’ve ever wondered where the lust for austerity — or the “pain caucus,” as Paul Krugman calls its proponents — came from, you’ve got to check out this talk from Mark Blyth, author of Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea.

Blyth calls himself a perfect example of the social mobility made possible by the welfare state, and said he decided to take on austerity because it pissed him off so much.

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Colbert Mocks Trump's Bad Toilet habits

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The political world was rocked by the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence, perhaps prompted by reports that he had flushed classified intelligence documents down the toilet. Not surprisingly, Late Show host Stephen Colbert found this image laughable if alarming. (Over the weekend, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman had revealed photos from a White House source revealing scraps of paper at the bottom of a toilet bowl.)

“To be fair, it’s unclear if those are official White House documents or his toilet’s suicide note,” Colbert noted, although the papers did appear to have Trump’s Sharpie handwriting, as well as the name “Stefanik” written on them -- as in Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

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Mehmet Oz

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Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, gave a confusing response about veterans' health care during an interview with a Pittsburgh radio station last week.

The station 90.5 WESA asked Oz about the PACT Act, which expands health care coverage for veterans exposed to toxins in the course of their service. The interview took place a few hours before recalcitrant Senate Republicans finally agreed to support the legislation.

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