Obama's Self-Inflicted Economic Pain: Bad Policy, Worse Politics

President Obama picked the very day that new job creation collapsed to propose a deflationary budget deal featuring cuts in Social Security and Medicare. This is perverse economics and worse politics, on several grounds.

The economy created just 88,000 jobs in March, down from close to 200,000 in other recent months, for one main reason: The January 2 budget deal and the March 1 sequester that hiked taxes on working people and cut public spending.

In the January deal, payroll taxes on working people were raised by some $120 billion. The more highly publicized tax hike on the top one percent raised less than $65 billion. The sequester added another $85 billion of budget cuts. The combined economic contraction will be about $270 billion this year, and according to the Congressional Budget Office the result will be to cut economic growth roughly in half.

But the deal that Obama is trying to coax the Republicans into accepting would cut the budget at this rate for an entire decade. The economics are just insane. 

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