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Talk in Wilton CT, 4/19/12

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  1. 1. What’s Up, What’s Down and Why,at the End of the Day, We’re In This Together Jared Bernstein 4/19/12
  2. 2. Source: Inclusive Fitness in Evolution, Ferriere and Michod, 2011.
  3. 3. But How Does This Map Onto Economic and Social Policy?• Growing together, growing apart• What is the role of gov’t?• Great recession and its aftermath (what’s up/down?)• Fiscal policy: debt and deficits don’t have to be as scary as they are.• Can we get from here to there given today’s politics (and politicians)?
  4. 4. Fellow Nutmeggers!• I bring a message of hope!• Yes, things are more than a little screwed up, but…• Solutions to our biggest problems are either known or we have good hypotheses.(inadequate employment growth, health care costs, revenues, inequality, political dysfunction)• We just need to transfer from vicious to virtuous cycle.
  5. 5. Current Recovery• Slow improvement• Why haven’t we hit “escape velocity?”-- “corrections” not yet behind us and some new stuff in front.• Looming fiscal cliff!• Forecasts• But—a lot of what we did actually worked!
  6. 6. CT
  7. 7. Germans over the past three years have paid an average of $2.64 a gallon (excludingtaxes), while Americans paid $2.69, even though the U.S. produced 5.4 million barrels ofoil per day while Germany produced just 28, 9
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  10. 10. So, What’s the Best Way Forward?• Near-term: avoid fiscal cliff dive• Clear-eyed look at what’s coming and how that relates to role of gov’t (demographics, climate, innovation, global connectedness)• Preserve the gov’t we need (House budget most pointedly does NOT do this)• Restore spirit of compromise (new politicians?)• Fairness, common sense, YOYOs vs WITTs 14
  11. 11. The $3.3 trillion includes the following four categories of cuts:--$2.4 trillion in reductions from Medicaid and other health care for peoplewith low or moderate incomes.--$134 billion in cuts to SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.--At least $463 billion in cuts in mandatory programs serving low-incomeAmericans (other than Medicaid and SNAP).--At least $291 billion in cuts in low-income discretionary programs. 15