Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen At the “A Trans-Atlantic Agenda for Shared Prosperity” conference sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, and the IMK Macroeconomic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C. February 11, 2013
“At the federal level, policymakers have reduced purchases of goods and services, allowed stimulus-related spending to decline, and have put in place further policy actions to reduce deficits. I was relieved that the Congress and the Administration were able to reach agreement on avoiding the full force of the “fiscal cliff” that was due to take effect on January 1. While a long-term plan is needed to reduce deficits and slow the growth of federal debt, the tax increases and spending cuts that would have occurred last month, absent action by the Congress and the President, likely would have been a headwind strong enough to blow the United States back into recession. Negotiations continue over the extent of spending cuts now due to take effect beginning in March, and I expect that discretionary fiscal policy will continue to be a headwind for the recovery for some time, instead of the tailwind it has been in the past.”
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