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Federal stimulus spending has fueled economic recovery.  Has the time come to worry about the deficit?  Will spending reductions and increased taxes be needed for long-term stability?  If they're imposed too soon, will austerity measures lead back to recession? Also, the season’s first hurricane creates problems for the Gulf oil clean-up, and Google in China and the battle over Internet censorship.

Banner image: President Barack Obama and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag discuss the federal budget in the Oval Office Monday, January 26, 2009, during the President's first week in office. Orszag announced last week that he's stepping down. Official White House Photo: Pete Souza

The Predator State

James Galbraith

Making News Season’s First Hurricane Complicates Gulf Oil Clean-up 7 MIN, 28 SEC

Hurricane Alex won't hit the Mississippi Delta directly, but it's causing six-foot waves to push more oil ashore from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. Tom Breen is a staff writer for the Associated Press in New Orleans.

Tom Breen, Staff Writer, Associated Press

Main Topic Stimulus or Austerity?: That Is the Question 37 MIN, 53 SEC

The consensus is that federal stimulus spending helped to prevent recession from becoming depression and got recovery under way. President Obama is committed to pumping up the recovery with continued spending and to his campaign promise not to raise taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year. Deficit hawks say it’s time to raise taxes and get spending under control. But would premature austerity measures stop the recovery in its tracks? From the G-20 conference to Capitol Hill, and even within the Obama White House, policy makers are sharply divided. White House budget director Peter Orszag has announced his resignation, and insiders say it’s due to frustration with the lack of aggressive action against the growing fiscal deficit. What are the lessons of history? Are states like New Jersey and countries like Ireland unwilling participants in what could be a dangerous experiment?

Ed Luce, Financial Times (@EdwardGLuce)
Alberto Alesina, Professor of Political Economics, Harvard University
James Galbraith, University of Texas, Austin
Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Editor, Cork Independent
Stephen Sweeney, President, New Jersey State Senate

Reporter's Notebook Can Google and China Make Amends? 5 MIN, 15 SEC

Earlier this year, Google announced it would no longer submit to Chinese censorship, but would re-route Internet users to sites in Hong Kong. China called it “unacceptable,” and today was the day that Google's license to operate in China expired. The deadline passed without any announcement from China. Rebecca MacKinnon, visiting fellow at Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, testified today before the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission on China's information-control practices.

Rebecca MacKinnon, New America Foundation (@rmack)

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