Wolfers on the unintended consequences of the ongoing sequester

August 2, 2013

A recent New York Times article, "U.S. Cuts Take Increasing Toll on Job Growth," explores the sequester's dampening effect on the economy through emergency furloughs, hiring freezes, bid delays, contract cancellations, and more.

While the sequester is reducing government expenditure in the face of considerable national debt, it's also slowing economic recovery after a long-standing recession that's taken its toll on American workers—a fact that's deeply troubling to many economists. Ford School economist Justin Wolfers, one of the academic experts featured in the article, says:

"The disjunction between textbook economics and the choices being made in Washington is larger than any I've seen in my lifetime. At a time of mass unemployment, it's clear, the economics textbooks tell us, that this is not the right time for fiscal retrenchment. To watch it be ignored like this is exasperating, horrifying, disheartening."

His remarks were chosen as the New York Times "Quotation of the Day" for Saturday, August 3, 2013.