US economy hamstrung by Washington's brinksmanship

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 03, 2013 20:30 hrs

Washington's perpetual budget warfare is damaging the economy.

Businesses don't know what the government is going to do on regulations, spending and contracting. So they're holding back from hiring. In some cases they're even letting people go. A trio of economists studied the problem and estimate that 2.3 million jobs have been lost since 2008 due to uncertainty over government actions.

Industry leaders and economists say the spending cuts that kicked in on Friday just continue this dynamic. It's expected that Congress will change them after the fact. That leaves more up in the air.

Next month may bring a government shutdown if President Obama and House Republicans can't agree on spending and taxes. In May there's another debt ceiling battle. The only certain thing is more uncertainty from Washington.

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