From Robert Reich: http://robertreich.org/post/69730619112
By Robert Reich
About the only good thing that can be said about the budget deal just patched together by House Republican budget chair Paul Ryan and Senate Democratic budget chair Patty Murray is that the right-wing Heritage Foundation and the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity oppose it.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for the country. In fact, it’s a bad deal, for at least three reasons:
First, it fails extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless who will lose them in a few weeks. These people and their families are still caught in the worst downturn since the Great Depression.
Almost three Americans are jobless for every job that’s available – a ratio worse than it was at the bottom of the last downturn.
Moreover, the nation still harbors an unprecedented number of long-term unemployed. In past recessions emergency benefits continued until the rate of long-term employment hovered around 1 percent or less. But the current level of long-term unemployed is 2.6 percent.
The second reason this deal is bad is it contributes to the nation’s savage inequality. The deal doesn’t close a single tax loophole for wealthy, and it doesn’t restore food stamps to the poor.
Third, the deal makes no fiscal sense. It’s topsy-turvy: The deal contains no short-term stimulus, and does nothing about the long-term deficit.
Although the deal overrides the dread “sequester” that mindlessly cuts domestic spending (except for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid), it doesn’t put an end to the sequester. It merely postpones the sequester for two years.
The deal does remove the treat of another government shutdown January 15, when the stopgap spending resolution that reopened the government in October runs out. But it doesn’t prevent another standoff over the debt ceiling next March when the borrowing authority of the government is exhausted.
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