Now that federal government shutdown has been averted, it's a good time to examine what's at stake for most of America in the crucial next round of budget talks.
The Great Debate
That whole Age of Frugality thing didn’t last long, did it?
U.S. real personal consumption grew in February at a respectable 0.3 percent clip, the fifth straight such monthly rise, a fact widely greeted as news that the recovery is on course. The fly in this tasty soup, however, is income, which in real terms didn’t increase at all, not even by one tenth of a percent.
Rest in peace, Great American Consumer. We will not see your like again.
“Cash-for-clunkers” aside, consumers seem bent on actually paying back debt rather than racking it up, a change that if sustained, as it is likely to be, will dampen economic growth not for months but for years, and not just in the U.S.