The U.S. economy grew slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012—a reversal from an initial report of contraction—but the meager showing underscored that government spending cuts are slowing the recovery's momentum.That's hardly an original observation by the WSJ, and clearly it's coming from the reporting side of their operation, not the editorial. But I think it's notable that even in a flagship newspaper of Rupert Murdoch's American media empire, it's impossible to avoid the reality that anemic spending is a major economic problem. No matter what Joe Scarborough or Alan Simpson or Erskine Bowles say, among people who actually understand economics, this is not a controversial proposition. It's a fact.
There are reasonable disagreements to be had about where money should be spent, or what our long-term fiscal policy priorities should be. But on the narrow question of whether current levels of spending are a boost or a drain to the economy, there's really nothing to debate. And that's precisely why the sequester is such a stupid policy instrument.