Unless the GOP agrees to a budget deal before year's end, the payroll tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits we have now will end. The scale of this fiscal contraction would be almost unprecedented.
When middle class families take a moment from their own budget plans to examine the deficit commission's, they'll notice that the sacrifices so nobly embraced by "their leaders" will actually fall on them.
Not only has the Irish crisis blown apart the myth of the virtues of fiscal austerity during rapidly declining economic activity, but it has also illustrated that Germany's bankers were every bit as culpable as their Irish counterparts.
The draft proposal released yesterday by the two chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission is conceived and written in panic. It is a profoundly ideological and entirely unrealistic set of policy prescriptions.
Fiscal austerity proponents are clueless about the functioning of real economies and monetary systems. Hacking away the last vestiges of fiscal support will simply ensure much more misery, unemployment and social turmoil in the years ahead.
In defense of the current Greek, Spanish and Portuguese governments, they find themselves in a fiscal straitjacket not of their own making. The UK, by contrast, is willingly choosing to commit economic suicide.