DC is doing nothing to fix the economy

There is no real movement in the White House or Congress to spur growth or job creation -- and lawmakers seem just fine with that.

By Kim Peterson May 21, 2013 1:52PM
Image: Washington, D.C. (© Corbis)New jobs and economic growth are far from the minds of President Barack Obama and congressional leaders these days. No one in Washington, D.C., seems to care.

The Washington Post reports that lawmakers have "all but abandoned efforts to help the economy recover faster." Why? Because there's no consequence from voters. Their inaction will not be punished.

Obama is not negotiating with Republicans in Congress on any laws to spur growth, Jim Tankersley reports. No "gangs" of senators are looking to craft joint job-creation bills.

Blame the dead weight of a lame-duck second presidential term. Blame the vehement infighting between congressional Democrats and Republicans. But you can also blame the wealthiest political donors, who feel like the stock market and the rest of the economy are doing just fine, Tankersley reports.

In fact, you could almost say that Congress has hurt the economy more than helped it lately. The payroll tax cut expired, leading many Americans to see smaller paychecks this year. The sequester has dragged down economic growth further.

Both sides of the aisle seem content to accept slow economic growth and an unemployment rate that is still too high. Without any action, this is the economy's new normal. Get used to it.

Economist Mark Thoma asks why the Federal Reserve isn't doing more to help the swollen ranks of the unemployed. The Fed could be doing more, Thoma writes in the Fiscal Times:
For example, the Fed could charge banks for holding excess reserves instead of paying them interest on those reserves as it does now. With such a penalty in place banks would have a much larger incentive to make loans, and some of the piled up reserves would leave banks and turn into new demand for goods and services. That’s just what the economy needs.

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May 21, 2013 2:26PM
The people realize that government does not create jobs, it destroys them.   Every dollar spent by government creating a make work, temporary job, MUST first be removed from the productive private sector. 

Thus government destroys REAL demand and jobs.

Want to grow the economy and create sustainable jobs?  SLASH government spending, and let those that earn the money now decide how to spend and invest it.

Admit it democrats, Obamanomics is a complete failure.  You cannot borrow and spend your way out of debt.  Nor can you Tax and Print your way to prosperity.  We need to have you change your socialist economic ideas, or we need to get rid of you.

May 21, 2013 2:18PM

I think we could have all guessed that this is the case.

It's rather obvious. I hear a big sucking sound coming from the D.C. area.......that's our way of life swirling down the drain...........



May 21, 2013 3:32PM

The sad part about what has happened to our country over the last 100 or so years (the fed was established in 1913, I believe) is that our founding fathers were smart enough hundreds of years ago to set up a Constitution designed to prevent the federal government from grabbing anywhere near this level of destructive power.


We just have somehow managed to forget what it was like to live under an oppressive government (back then it was Britain) and have allowed it to happen.  We're learning again right now what an overreaching and oppressive government can do to a country and I think 95% of the people have NO CLUE how bad it's going to get VERY soon.


Sometime in the next few years, I'm not sure when, but at some point people will refuse to buy worthless TBills any more, and then it's GAME OVER.  I'll be very sad to say "I told you so", trust me :(.

May 21, 2013 3:45PM
The problem is the Politicians, plain and simple!
May 21, 2013 3:28PM

Corporations and wealthy people control Congress.  As long as Bernanke keeps printing fiat money to drive the stock market high, the rich people are very happy and satisfied.

AS he continues to print money at a pace of $85 billion per month, the rally will continue, the rich will get richer, and the economy will appear to be doing fine.  But pull away all of the artificial stimulus, and you will see that it was all an illusion.

May 21, 2013 4:15PM

If the country truly cared about the economy and unemployment, then we would have elected a different President in the last election.


America couldn't care less about the economy and seems more concerned about same sex marriage, gun control, immigration reform (amnesty), pretty much anything but the economy.  Or else it would be a front issue.


Ho hum.

May 21, 2013 3:32PM

85 billion per month is not making new jobs?The government has been telling us the stimulus is creating employment but we know that they are just worried about the super rich on wall street.Time to pull the rug out and let the chips fall where they may.

May 21, 2013 4:11PM
I heard someone once say something like if he was going to lose his house, he would borrrow every penny he could get on it and then let the bank have it.  I think this is the attitude of CONgress.  I truly believe they have lost the country and they are getting all they can before getting out of DC.  I think they would like to get the country's guns first, not for our protection but for theirs.  I have heard more talk lately of people not trusting government.  I don't either.  But, I've heard some talk of the possibility of rebellion or revolution.  I also believe that is a real possibility.  When CONgress drags in 174,000 annually for a part time job so poorly done, I understand the frustration of the people.  Maybe it is time for change.....
May 21, 2013 3:46PM

JEEZ, What a surprise. First of all politicians care about Three things: Hollywood, Wall Street and getting reelected.

They don't care about (however much they say they do when campaigning)  Ma & Pa middle America. 

There is only stimulus or any sort of encouragement from GOV. when the market is down.

Dow at a RECORD HIGH, S & P at RECORD HIGH. That's all that matters to any of them I don't care what party you belong to it's all the same. Meanwhile nobody cares that my Used to be 18 oz. jar of Skippy Peanut Butter is now 15 ounces and cost .80 cents more. GET IT THROUGH  YOUR HEADS Nobody cares about you.

Where is OUR ARAB SPRING ?? Now I understand the "OTHER 99%. NO, I'm Not some wacko (lord knows there are plenty) a former REAL Republican who is just frustrated with all of them and nothing will change and this really is the downfall of America. 

May 21, 2013 3:31PM
All part of the grand socialist scheme to destroy capitalism. 
May 21, 2013 4:08PM

The sequester is just another trend in Washington's inability to compromise for the betterment of the Country. Clearly, poor leadership at all levels is lacking and finger pointing has replaced relationship building at the expense of jobs & growth. I am curious as to how many meetings the President, Cabinet appointees and those in Congress who oversee various  bureaucrats departments have conducted to review plans for improvement, cost saving ideas and potential problems in 2012 /2013.  The way the country has been run for the last 15 to 20 years calls for a more business like approach with term limits and a ban on lobbying if the public power is to be restored.
May 21, 2013 4:24PM

"Why? Because there's no consequence from voters."


No consequence? Have We, the People gotten so lazy? Or have we just given in to hopelessness?? A majority of Americans agree that this country is heading down the wrong path, yet we do nothing. I regularly e-mail my state congressman. While I know full-well that he is one of Obama's buddies and doesn't give a tinker's damn about the people of this state, I will continue to write. I will continue to help organise the people of this city in an effort to overturn some of the terrible laws that have recently gone into effect. Nothing will change unless we work together, and throw the criminals and imbeciles in DC out.

May 21, 2013 3:29PM
Not a tough question to answer... there never WAS any genuine interest in job RECOVERY- the only way to offset what is inevitably ahead for us all. It's-- FAKE MONEY, not stuff anyone will ultimately be keeping. Sadly, the "gamer" generation and the ridiculous Me Generation have combined to ruin what QE might have initially attempted to accomplish.
May 21, 2013 3:52PM

Woodrow Wilson warned us first, of the dangers posed after a temporary need for a stronger, more secretive central government in times of threat (war), and Daniel Patrick Moynihan echoed the strain post Vietnam.  Several Presidents attempted to "unwind" the trend, but none have succeeded.  During the cold war we ramped up our military incredibly, took on debt, based on extremely inaccurate estimates of the strength of the USSR, provided to the Executive Branch by the CIA.  The opportunity to strengthen the USA financially, morally, and socially was stonewalled by the military / industrial complex that Eisenhower told us to fear. 


At least now most of our policing of the world for our own interests is under the banner of the U.N., but it is still the taxpayers of the USA footing the bill. 

May 21, 2013 3:21PM
The economy works because the Government has continually supported a Fiat based Bubble System for Decades. The economy works because we have for decades, borrowed to support and expand that Fiat based Bubble System.

Reagan Triple the Debt.

Bush Doubled the Debt.

Obama is on pace to Double the Debt, just like Bush.

Obama serves the same Corporate Masters, that Bush and Reagan served. Some people just refuse to admit it.

May 21, 2013 4:15PM
If a serious talk of a national convergence upon DC began to be rumoured on a specific date, I wonder if any lawmaker at all could be found anywhere in town.  I am serious.  I do wonder.  They are willing to cut the SS of the feeble and the invalid but they won't dare cut the government checks of the freeloaders. That is what I believe.  I do think they are too much cowardly to do that.  They may TALK of cutting food stamps, but I doubt that will happen. All of Bullymerica would likely go up in smoke in a single night.
May 21, 2013 4:09PM
For one moment, can everyone drop the political hats and answer this one question, how many folks believe this has become an self fulfilling prophecy of One World Government and One World Currency. The Global Feds are already colluding on Money Printing and Bonds. If one world one currency is in the works, how long before it would happen. I mean they already have the Euro. Would We the People get the stones to stop it from happening?
May 21, 2013 5:07PM

The question is: "Has Washington given up on fixing the economy?"


Answer: No. The economy (the public) has given up on fixing Washington.

May 21, 2013 5:09PM
Our Government is a disgrace. Congress is more worried about the ordinary working man paying sales tax on internet purchases then they are about helping to improve the economy. The rich are getting richer and the working man is falling further behind and nobody seems to care as long as Big Wall Street is setting records.
May 21, 2013 4:55PM
Has Washington given up on fixing the economy?
Hmmm, thats a tough one. 

...Um, when did they start ?

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