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Regular readers of this blog will find this no surprise, but it’s nice to see it on the front page of a daily newspaper:

The federal government, the nation’s largest consumer and investor, is cutting back at a pace exceeded in the last half-century only by the military demobilizations after the Vietnam War and the cold war….Federal, state and local governments now employ 500,000 fewer workers than they did on the eve of the recession in 2007, the longest and deepest decline in total government employment since the aftermath of World War II.

….The spending cutbacks and actions to raise taxes could reduce growth by roughly 1.5 percentage points this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, leaving the sluggish economy operating well below capacity.

The basic chart is below. If the recession of 2007-08 had been a normal one, the cutbacks we’re seeing now might have been justified after the initial round of stimulus. But it wasn’t a normal one. It was the deepest economic slowdown since the Great Depression. It’s suicidal that we pulled back so soon.

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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.

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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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