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When I read this headline at the Washington Post:

Federal Reserve weighs steps to offset slowdown in economic recovery

I was encouraged. Hey, at least someone is thinking about doing something. But then I read further into the article and saw phrases like “modest steps” and “not imminent.” As it turns out, the ideas under consideration are modest indeed:

One pro-growth strategy would be to strengthen language in Fed policy statements that the central bank’s interest rate target is likely to remain “exceptionally low” for an “extended period.” The policymakers could change that wording to effectively commit to keeping rates near zero for even longer than investors now expect.

They might strengthen the language in their policy statements! That oughta do it! In fairness, there are a couple of other ideas under consideration that are a bit more concrete, but not, unfortunately, much more ambitious. For now, anyway, it looks like no one thinks the economy is in bad enough shape to actually bother doing anything about it.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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