The US Economic Situation – Ides of March Worries

First Published: 2011-03-07

"Beware of the Ides of March," the Soothsayer said to Caesar.

Commenting to his companions about the Soothsayer, Caesar responded, "He is a dreamer, let us leave him: pass." With these words, Shakespeare makes memorable the demise of Julius Caesar on March 15, the ides of March.

Should we take heed of today’s soothsayers when they warn about government shutdowns, trouble ahead on the nation’s debt limits, and the possibilities of default on federal debt? Or should we call them dreamers and push ahead with business as usual?

As I write this March 2011 Economic Situation report, the news media are astir regarding these matters. We made it past March 4, the date when the last Continuing Resolution (CR) expired, without closing federal offices worldwide. Now another CR keeps the wheels turning a few weeks while Congress debates budgets, deficits, and debt. As we hear the cliche so often,"the can has been kicked down the road." The possibilities of another shutdown loom ahead.

Read Dr. Yandle’s Economic Situation Report here (pdf)…

Dr. Yandle is Dean Emeritus, College of Business & Behavioral Science, Clemson University & Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Economics, Mercatus Center, George Mason University

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