Economy’s Woes Shift the Focus of Budget Talks

Townhall.com Staff
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Posted: Jun 09, 2011 10:09 AM
Economy’s Woes Shift the Focus of Budget Talks
WASHINGTON — Recent signs that the economic recovery is flagging have introduced a new tension into the bipartisan budget negotiations, giving rise to calls especially from liberals to limit the size of immediate spending cuts or even to provide an additional fiscal stimulus.

On Thursday, for the first time in two weeks, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and six Congressional leaders will meet with a new urgency to take up negotiations toward reaching a deficit-reduction deal in July. Democrats will make the case for additional tax revenues to balance spending cuts, an approach Republicans have rejected.

More broadly, however, the signs of an economic slowdown in past weeks — not least Friday’s report showing weak job growth in May — have altered the climate for those talks. Amid the emphasis in Washington on significant deficit reductions, including new plans for spending cuts from more than 100 of the most conservative House Republicans and from Tim Pawlenty, one of the Republican presidential aspirants, some Democrats, economists and financial market analysts are raising concerns that too much fiscal restraint this year and next could further undermine the recovery.