A Crash Course in Growth Economics

First published by Reuters on February 6, 2014

By Hedrick Smith

Congressional Republicans like to talk about creating jobs and growing the economy. With the government shutdown and rigid spending cuts, however, Congress created a fiscal drag that cost the economy a full percentage point of economic growth in 2013.

Now, Congressional Republicans are again digging in their heels against measures that would ramp up the economy and generate jobs. It’s time for Congress to take a refresher course in growth economics — the economic forces and programs that power U.S. growth.

As President Barack Obama barnstorms the country, he should be making the argument that it is not only fair, but smart growth economics to raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment benefits and reduce income inequality. These steps will help accelerate economic recovery this year above its anemic 1.9 percent growth rate in 2013.

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