The Obama administration and Congressional Republicans have been at odds about the budget for years. That may be because politics and economics don't always mix. In its latest impasse, the government let steep spending cuts go into effect at the beginning of March, which one economic forecasting firm estimates will cost the economy 700,000 jobs by the end of next year.
1. Republican leaders claim that austerity helps the economy. But a recent National Association for Business Economics poll of 49 economists found that 95 percent of those surveyed agreed that budget cuts are hurting economic growth.
2. Congressional Republicans have blocked a second stimulus and claim that the first stimulus didn't work. But a survey of the 41 economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel last year found that 80 percent agreed that the 2009 stimulus lowered the unemployment rate.
3. Some Republican leaders oppose substantially expanding immigration. But 89 percent of economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel agreed that more high-skilled immigration would benefit the average American.
4. Some Republican politicians warn that the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures may cause high inflation. But 57 percent of economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel said that even if the Fed's stimulus measures caused inflationary pressures, the Fed could rein it in. Only 15 percent disagreed with the statement that the inflationary pressures, if any, would be "inconsequential."
5. Republicans have used the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip and have opposed President Barack Obama's proposal to eliminate it altogether. But 84 percent of economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel agreed with the statement that the debt ceiling "creates unneeded uncertainty and creates potentially worse fiscal outcomes."
6. Republican leaders favor giving special treatment to small businesses, but no economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel said they believe that would help the average American more than focusing on economic growth.