Great magazine cover: State of the Union

I like magazine covers for their use as contrary indicators.  You can find some dandies by perusing the Cover Stories category on the blog.  This one, though, is great for its creativity.  It’s intended to highlight the problems facing the U.S., what with its divided government.  Check out those names:

  • No Jersey (New Jersey)
  • Indeep (Indiana)
  • Ill. (what else?)
  • Taxes

Below the image you can see a couple of paragraphs from the actual article.  Click on the picture to see a huge version of it, and click on the link with the paragraphs to jump to the full story.

To the Republicans who now control the House of Representatives, the main problem is the deficit and the cumulative burden of debt it brings with it. The deficit will of course narrow as the economy recovers, but because of the insatiable demands for health care of America’s now-creaky and retiring baby-boomers, unless taxes are hiked it will not dip below 4% of GDP, and it will start to rise again after 2015. That is not sustainable. Not only will borrowing on this scale tend to crowd out more productive investment: the interest on it is already eating up 10% of government revenue, a figure that will rise as interest rates go up. Hence the Republican demand for swift and deep cuts. Get spending down, shift government off the backs of the people, and jobs will return, as the invisible hand works its magic.

Mr Obama sees things the opposite way round. His state-of-the-union speech was an attempt to place jobs—which, according to pollsters, most Americans say are their priority—at the forefront of the debate, and he put the deficit at the end of a long list of concerns. After two years in which he concentrated more than was wise on getting health reform passed, refocusing on jobs makes some sense. It is obviously true that America’s infrastructure, both human and physical, is sub-par (its children’s maths skills were recently placed 25th out of 34 in a ranking of OECD countries). And it is hard to reduce the deficit while the country has a large group of persistently un- or underemployed people.  Full article here.

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