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The Economy by an MIT Professor

Professor Simon Johnson testified to the House Ways and Means Committee on January 13th.

Of all the other economists, Mr. Johnson, Professor of Global Economics and Management at MIT, gave an illustrious description of the US economy and growth potential in his brief introductory remarks.

Paraphrasing, I would like to share some of his opening statement:

We are rebounding from the worst global financial crisis since the 1930's. The US has effectively utilized discretionary fiscal policy. As a result, the deficit is down and the national debt is manageable enough to avoid another crisis.

The US' problem is a lack of consensus over the use of fiscal policy resulting in confrontations about the debt ceiling and the various issues that triggered the government shutdown. These are destabilizing to financial markets. They create a high degree of uncertainty and they damage the economies of our trading partners.

In our attempt to recover, we passed the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms which addressed the risks that brought about the crisis. It is in the nation's best interest that we do not repeal it.

Contrary to many opinions, the Affordable Care Act has also contributed to holding down healthcare costs. It is essential we control our spending on social insurance programs.

Stagnant incomes has been an issue since the 1980's. They are controlled by technological change, globalization, education, and healthcare. The key is to create programs which benefit everyone and invest in people. Figures show the trickle-down effect does not work.

Lastly, all trade is not good. There must be measures to prevent other governments from cheating and make sure our trade benefits the middle class.

This is a simple summary Mr. Johnson's opening remarks for his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on the state of the economy and policies leading to job creation and economic growth.

You can watch the full video here.


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