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Budget Deal Does Little to Address the Needs of the Economy

WASHINGTON - While all the details have yet to be released, it seems clear that the budget agreement announced by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan, which sets discretionary budget authority limits for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, will do essentially nothing to alter the disastrous trajectory that has characterized fiscal policy since 2011. I support reaching an agreement that will end the culture of periodic crises that has driven policy in recent years. However, this deal addresses the wrong set of priorities: namely, deficit reduction ten years out rather than a stronger recovery now, and tweaking domestic spending for a few years as we continue to ignore the public investments our country needs.

The worst part of the budget deal by far is what it doesn’t address: unemployment insurance for America’s four million long-term unemployed workers. This deal asks essentially nothing of the richest Americans while placing terrible burdens on the unemployed as well as new federal employees, and continuing the fiscal policy drag on our still-unfinished recovery.


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The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways, it is as crucial as ever that people who work for a living have a voice in the economic discourse.

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